6 dunums confiscated for military base expansion in Rummana
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6 dunums confiscated for military base expansion in Rummana

Occupation machinery annexed and bulldozed 6 dunums of agricultural land belonging to residents of Rummana village. The targeted land, which is being expropriated for the nearby military training base, contains a number of olive trees whose loss will adversely affect local farmers.

On 12 August, Occupation machinery bulldozed and uprooted fruitful olive trees on the outskirts of Rummana village, northwest of Jenin. The land will be used to expand the nearby military base, which was founded on confiscated village lands 10 years ago.

The two owners of the targeted land, Raghab Mahmoud al-Ahad, ‘Aziz Taher Bashnaq from the village, explained that the whole affected area is prime agricultural land. The destruction of olive trees, especially before the harvest season, is a serious blow to the farmers.

Five days prior, Raghab al-Ahad received a military order informing him that his trees were to be confiscated. Occupation machinery arrived unannounced yesterday and immediately began to uproot trees. When al-Ahad arrived at his lands, he was approached by a soldier who informed him that the area was considered a closed military area.

This is not the first time Al-Ahad has been targeted by the Occupation. The military camp was erected a mere 200 meters from his olive groves, and soldiers could often be found training on his land, posing a serious danger to his and his family’s safety. Occupation forces also often prohibited him reaching his land under various excuses and security pretexts.

The proximity of the Occupation base has caused a series of problems for the farmers of Rummana. Wastewater from the base runs through village land. This wastewater has accumulated in agricultural areas, including those belonging to al-Ahad, and damaged trees and soil. Last month, Occupation forces started a fire on the outskirts of the village. Flames spread through plants and dried out wood, ultimately consuming 30 dunums of agricultural land containing olive and almond trees. As is usually the case, soldiers barred farmers from reaching their burning lands and extinguishing the fire.

Rummana, which falls on the falls northwest of Jenin near the Green Line, saw 80% of its lands confiscated in 1948. 250 additional dunums were stolen for the construction of the Wall and the construction of the Occupation military base.