Olive trees destroyed in Al Khader, near Bethlehem

Report from the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) website

On Saturday October 6th 2012, Salah family from Al Khader found out that more than 100 newly planted olive saplings in addition to 60 vine trees in an adjacent vineyard were cut down. The olive trees were among 300 olive trees planted on the Salah family’s land (Dirar Abed Al Raheem Salah and Abdulhakim Salah) and 200 olive trees on the Nabhan family’s land. Both lands were planted on Monday, February 6th 2012 during the 2012 olive planting program.

Olive trees being planted in February, now destroyed by settlers

Link to news report: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=526501

The vines which were cut down belong to Younis Mahfouzh Mousa, a farmer from Al Khader.

The owners of the attacked lands believe that it was settlers from the nearby Newe Dannyel Settlement which is about a hundred meters away. Further, they believe the Israeli military is complicit in this attack as the area is covered with Israeli military surveillance cameras, and is very close to the bypass road known as route 60 where military patrols move back and forth day and night.

This attack by settlers on Palestinians and their property comes as the olive harvest season begins. During this season Israeli settlers increase their attacks on Palestinians and olive trees in general. Between October 1st and 7th Israeli settlers have been involved in at least 5 attacks in addition to this one.

Also, the Independent Commission for Human Rights has reported that Israelis (settlers and military) have been involved in some 300 violations of Palestinians rights during the month of September in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Finally, the olive trees that were chopped down were planted at Dirar Salah and were sponsored partially by 30 sponsors from USA, UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan and Denmark. If you are from any of these countries or took part in the 2012 olive planting program please consider taking one of the actions below.

Suggested actions:

  • Sponsor an olive tree or call on your friends and other people you know to sponsor olive trees to be planted in fields that suffer the same type of risks.
  • Write a letter to your countries representative in Tel Aviv, asking for a visit to the destroyed fields and affected farmers. Addresses of the foreign missions in Tel Aviv can be found here http://www.science.co.il/embassies.asp
  • Write a private and/ or public (through news papers) letter to the Israeli representatives in your country, sharing the story of the farmers, seeking explanation for what happened, and find out if there is a way to call those vandals to account.
  • Try to bring this story to light using your local newspapers, radio, TV stations or any other media tools to shed light on the story.
  • Please let JAI know in case you have decided to do something about this loss

Read about the Olive Planting Program in February 2012.

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