From: Sent: Sunday, December 06, 2009 1:49 AM
Subject: 14000 Palestinian olive trees subjected to Israeli aggression in



Report: 14000 Palestinian olive trees subjected to Israeli aggression in

Middle East Monitor

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December 4, 2009

A Palestinian research centre, specialised in monitoring Israeli violations,
revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities destroyed 14000 olive trees
in the Palestinian territories during 2009. Such assaults included the
uprooting of thousands of olive trees, for the sake of expanding the Israeli
settlements, and the burning and cutting of thousands more by settlers.

In a report issued following the completion of the olive harvest in the
occupied West Bank, the Land Research Centre said that the occupation
authorities burned and uprooted about 1455 olive trees during the harvest
season this year, and washed away around 7000 trees since the beginning of
the year for the sake of settlement expansion, while settlers attacked more
than 5500 other trees.

Israeli attacks were concentrated in the provinces in the north of the West
Bank. In Nablus, the occupation attacked about 6000 olive trees; in Salfit
nearly 5720 trees were uprooted; in Qalqilya around 400 trees were burned or
uprooted; in Hebron, nearly 1600 trees were attacked; and in Bethlehem, the
occupation pulled out about 30 trees.

The centre said that the occupation authorities and settlers not only
attacked the Blessed Tree, but they also prevented Palestinian farmers, who
are the land's owners, from accessing the trees to harvest the olives, as
the occupation authorities closed the gates; built the apartheid wall to
prevent farmers from reaching their land that is located behind the wall;
and physically abuses Palestinian farmers.

The centre also mentioned that, in the beginning of the olive harvest season
in 2009, leaflets were distributed in a number of West Bank settlements
calling for ruining the harvest of olives in the lands near settlements, and
to be ready to prevent Palestinians from harvesting the olives. The leaflets
also called for confronting foreign peace activists and preventing them from
helping Palestinians as well as from taking photos; the leaflets encouraged
Israelis to steal peace activists' cameras and to steal olives before
Palestinian farmers could reap them.

The centre clarified that the settlers' behaviour is based on the Zionist
literature that is behind this destructive war. Rabbi Murdakhai Elyaho
sanctioned Israelis to steal Palestinian olives. He said, "It is permissible
to harvest olives off Palestinian farms, because they grow these olives on
our land." He added that Rabbi Yusef Melmid, who is a senior religious
authority, gave a fatwa legalising the seize of Palestinian crops on the
grounds that Jews are permitted to seize Palestinian properties.

The Land Research Centre considered the Israeli settlers' aggression on
Palestinian olive trees to be part of the Israeli ethnic-cleansing policies
that seek to eradicate Palestinians and everything that has to do with them
and their existence, including their trees.

And on his part, the head of the Land Research Centre in Hebron, Jamal Al
Omla, said that this report exposes the Israeli violations and the lies of
Benjamin Netanyahu and his government regarding the settlement freeze.

Al Omla added that the settlers' presence in the occupied territories is, in
and of itself, an ongoing violation, the magnitude and the negative effect
of which is proof that Israel adopts a de facto policy to expel Palestinians
from their land and replace them with Israeli settlers.

He called on the international community to impose sanctions on Israel to
force it to abide by international resolutions. He also said that the
cosmetic US and European support to the cause of establishing an independent
Palestinian state is no more than a way to give Israelis more time to impose
facts on the ground in their favour.

:: Article nr. 60780 sent on 05-dec-2009 02:07 ECT <> 




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