Devastation in Beit Awa; Hebron Farmers Face Immeasurable Suffering this Olive Harvest Season
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Devastation in Beit Awa; Hebron Farmers Face Immeasurable Suffering this Olive Harvest Season

***image2***Occupation Forces continued on Tuesday destroying lands and uprooting trees in the south and middle of Beit Awa village. The people of the village, defending their lands, confronted the Occupation Forces who fired tear gas and live bullets at the people, in addition to beating them with batons.

In Beit Awa, particularly in the center of the village, the Apartheid Wall will be built near the homes and schools, with the Wall’s path going on top of the village cemetery. The school is under threat of demolition due to the Wall’s path.

Work—destruction–for the Apartheid Wall in the Hebron District and its villages began as of the end of August, beginning of September. Since then, the Occupation Forces have uprooted for the Wall’s path 400 fruit-bearing olive trees in the village of Deir Samit and 300 olive trees from the village of Beit Awa. When complete, the Apartheid Wall is to isolate some 1000 fruit-bearing trees from Beit Awa while penetrating the village of Deir Samit by a length of some 1200 meters, isolating hundreds of the village’s trees. The level of destruction and the number of uprooted trees continues.

The Occupation Forces put into effect the Apartheid Wall in the southern West Bank’s Hebron District and its villages on April 15, 2004 when the people of Beit Awa, Deir Samit, and Al Sikka received confiscation orders.

This land destruction comes just as the olive harvest season nears, where the fruits of the trees are nearly ripe and to be picked, as the Occupation Forces ensure that the owners will not be able to collect the fruits for one final time or produce its olive oil. Such was the Apartheid policy against Palestinian farmers in the Wall’s “first phase” in the northern West Bank, like in Jayyus village, in which the Occupation Forces began uprooting trees for the building of the Wall during the harvest season, two years ago. Since the Wall was completed, the Occupation Forces have kept the “gates” closed, preventing farmers from reaching their lands and collect the fruits of the harvests. Any so-called access through the gates is synonymous with humiliation and suffering. In addition, the settlers with the active support of the Occupation Forces burn trees and destroy land ensuring that people cannot reach the groves located near the settlements, built on the Palestinian lands.

The people of Beit Awa, who work inside the Green Line and in commerce, are facing an Apartheid Wall that seeks to destroy them in any which way. In a matter of moments, the Occupation Forces and its Apartheid Wall are destroying entire areas, fields, and livelihoods, intending to get rid of all that is Palestinian, even the land and trees.