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Fire rips through Palestinian lands in West Bank

June 3, 2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinians say a fire has ripped through their lands in the northern West Bank, scorching several acres (hectares) of olive and almond groves.

Nimir Tirawi of the village of Burin says the fire began when hard-line Jews from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar lit the blaze Monday. He says the fire quickly spread due to dry heat and hot winds. He says villagers tried to extinguish the blaze and threw rocks at the settlers.

A settler spokesman did not return a message seeking comment.

The Israeli military says that settlers and Palestinians were spotted lighting fires Monday.

Hard-line settlers often set fire to Palestinian olive groves. Palestinians sometimes try set fire to areas near Jewish settlements.

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