Occupation bulldozers have intensified the destruction of agricultural land for the Wall in Walaja village, northwest of Bethlehem, between Halhoul and Beit Omar, and in Aboud northwest of Ramallah. The fresh wave of demolition work in these areas comes after popular resistance had earlier managed to halt work.
In Walaja (population 3,000) Occupation bulldozers started uprooting olive trees last Thursday after a weekâs pause northeast of the village. This new destruction is for the construction of a new road connecting Kermizan east of Beit Jala with 1948 territory and Jerusalem. Kermizan will then be isolated by the Wall from the neighbouring town of Beit Jala. The road will be 1km long and 50m wide. Its footprint will be 8 dunums and 500 dunums will be annexed together with Kermizan to âGreater Jewish Jerusalemâ. When the Wall has been built around Walaja virtually all of its agricultural land will have been annexed. Since 1967, 18 homes have been demolished, there are currently another 18 demolition orders on houses in the village and the future of 40 houses is in the Occupation courts.
Between Halhul and Beit Omar bulldozers are destroying agricultural land for the construction of a âsecurity fenceâ around Karme Zur settlement. Demolition work stopped 1 1/2 months ago after local farmers blocked bulldozers in resistance. 22 productive olive trees have been uprooted. This âsecurity fenceâ will isolate 200 dunums from both towns including 28 olive trees, and many almond trees and vines. All of this land is under cultivation and forms the main income for the farmers. This criminal act is being carried out deliberately at this important time of year as grapes are currently being harvested and in a month the olive harvest will start. Abdullah Aqel, one of the farmers, said âit is awful for farmers to see their trees and vines disappear under the tracks of bulldozers. This destruction can only be described as the work of fascist criminals who are destroying the livelihood of farmers at this crucial time.â
In Aboud village (population 2,507) Occupation forces have begun uprooting trees again after a pause of 5 1/2 months. Land is being annexed northwest of the village to Bet Arye settlement and in the west to Ofarim settlement. 5400 dunums are being stolen. The mayor of Aboud said that in the last 10 days 1200 olive trees have been uprooted. After the start of destruction last October the popular resistance committee in the village organized protests every Friday which were brutally repressed by Occupying Forces. This resistance led to work on the âWallâ being suspended.