Israeli settlers on horseback 'set fire' to Palestinian-owned olive trees



Israeli settlers on horseback set fire on Monday to at least 1,500 Palestinian-owned olive trees in the occupied West Bank and others stoned cars, a Palestinian security official said.

He said 10 settlers riding horses and carrying torches set fire to between 1,500 and 2,000 olive trees. Olives are an important cash crop for Palestinians, who have complained of frequent attacks on their groves by settlers.

Israeli military and police spokesmen had no immediate comment. Israeli media reports said the rampage was a response by settlers to the army's destruction hours earlier of a caravan at a settlement outpost built without Israeli government approval.

Earlier on Monday, a Palestinian died in an Israeli hospital of gunshot wounds suffered on Sunday along the border with the Gaza Strip after he refused to stop when ordered to do so by an Israeli patrol, a hospital spokeswoman and the army said.

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