Palestinian farmers from the West Bank village of Burin, located near the settlement of Yitzhar, discovered Thursday morning that dozens of their olive trees were cut down.
Akram Amram of Burin told Ynet that at around 5:30 am he had discovered 97 uprooted olive trees on his land.
"I am not embarrassed to admit that when I discovered the massacre which took place on my land, I cried," he said. "These trees are more than 60 years old and I raised them just like I raised my kids."
According to Amram, the trees were very valuable. "I make a living off these trees and don't work in anything else. But my pain is not only over my livelihood which is gone, but also because the orchard I grew and nurtured was gone in seconds. It was a painful sight, a real massacre, and I'm not exaggerating."
The Palestinian farmer added that he had informed the Palestinian Coordination and Liaison Authority of the damages and that Israeli representatives arrived at the area. According to Amram, settlers were responsible for the damage.
"We didn’t see them because they must have infiltrated the area in the night, but no one else could have done this," he said.
In July, 22 olive trees were cut down in Burin as part of the settlers' "price tag" policy in response to the evacuation of illegal outposts. The orchard owner said at the time, "It was very difficult. I nearly collapsed. My family members have been raising these trees for almost 50 years, and seeing them disappear in one night is not easy."
Efrat Weiss contributed to this report