A daily crime, settlers cut olive trees in the West Bank
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A daily crime, settlers cut olive trees in the West Bank


Settlers attacks on the Palestinian people and their land and property have lately become daily violations of Palestinian rights. Settlers are protected by the occupation forces and the international community’s silence in their efforts to undercut Palestinian livelihoods and create conditions aimed to push the farmers to leave their homes and land. Only on March 8 and 9 three of such attacks occurred.

A group of settlers from  Nahale’l settlement, which located close to Beit Illo village west of Ramallah, cut more than 80 olive trees on March 9. The trees belonged to Mohammad Jebrel, in Al Thahrat area close to the village.

Mohammad Jebrel said that this attack came as part of series of attacks on his land.  In fact, the settlers had already cut his olive trees before. However, he replanted them again.

In another case of settlers attacking Palestinian land and trees, a group of settlers from Elieh settlement, in Nablus district, cut 40 olive trees in Qariout village on Friday March 9. The villagers discovered the when they went after time again to their land. The Israeli occupation forces allow the farmers of Qariout to access their land only twice a year for a short periods: once in the olive harvesting and once in the plowing season. The villagers said that the settlers cut 40 olive trees and destroyed the land in the area located close to Elieh settlement. Elieh encroaches on the village from the west.

Further,  the security guards of the Shilo and Elieh settlements entered the village from several entrance and threatened the villagers not to go to their lands. They shot bullets which caused power outages as they damaged the electricity infrastructure.

Many of the villagers are affected by this further attack on the livelihoods of the farming community.  Among the owners of the trees are Mahmoud Bader Abu Nejem, Mahmoud Rateb, Ahed Khalil, Hisham Jaber, Abdulnaser Badawi, Hamad Badawi, Abdulghani Badawi and Mahmoud Falah. All of them condemn the settlers attack on their land.

In a third attack on the Palestinian farming communities occurred in Al Khader village in Bethlehem district. On March 8, a group of settlers stole about 230 olive seedlings. They invaded the area of Khalet Um Alfahem, which belongs to a family from AlKhader village. TheAliazer settlement, which is built on the Al Khader’s land is bordering this area. Settlers then cut the trees and took them away.

Ahmad Da’do’o, one of the owners , said that a day before a big group of settlers lead by Nadia Matar, a leader of a settler group called “Women in Green”, invaded together with Israeli occupation forces the land the villagers were planting. They confiscated equipments and some 100 olive seedlings and left after having issued a further threat to the people and their land.