SALFIT CITY, Palestine

The Israeli army chopped down around 2,000 olive trees in the occupied West Bank, according to a local Palestinian official on Wednesday.

“The trees were uprooted by Israeli forces in the town of Deir Ballut in Salfit province,” mayor Yahya Owda told Anadolu Agency.

He said the Israeli army cited that the trees were planted in Area C, which falls under Israeli control in the West Bank.

Owda said that Israeli authorities had notified the farmers last year of a decision to uproot the trees, but the farmers filed an appeal with Israeli courts.

“No decision has yet been taken by the court,” he said.

Under the 1995 Oslo Accord between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, was divided into three parts — Area A, B, and C. Area C, which constitutes of 61% of the West Bank, is under the complete Israeli control where Palestinians are not allowed to dispose of their property without the Israeli approval.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activities there illegal.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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