Palestinian olive trees targeted in hate crime

Vandals believed to be Jewish extremists have uprooted dozens of olive trees and scrawled graffiti near a Palestinian village in the southern West Bank, police and witnesses said on Friday.

Palestinian witnesses told AFP that approximately 80 olive trees were uprooted in the village of Al-Tiwana east of Yatta.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed that "police received a report about the damaging of some 62 Palestinian-owned olive trees" in the area.

She also noted that "slogans such as 'price tag' and 'mutual guarantee' were scrawled nearby."

"Price tag" is a euphemism for hate crimes, primarily committed against Palestinians by Israeli extremists.

The attacks began in response to Israeli government moves to dismantle unauthorised settler outposts or in retaliation to Palestinians after attacks against settlers, but over the past 18 months have also targeted Christian institutions and even the Israeli military.

The perpetrators of such crimes are rarely caught.