Monday, June 23, 2008

Israeli army uproots 500-year-old olive grove in Beit Hanina near Jerusalem

Olive Harvest, Tell, Palestine

Source Uploaded by Steph PS on 7 Jun 07, 2.10PM PDT.

A friend called me a couple days ago and told me that the Israelis were going to cut down or remove some groves of olive trees in Beit Hanina to make way for the wall. Some of the trees were her father's. I bought oil from them just last fall. We talked about going over there to take some pictures and I looked around online to see if there was anything about a protest. Unfortunately I just read that they already cut them down this morning. Imagine killing 500 year old trees to put up that horrible wall. Here is the article from Ma'an News Agency.

Jerusalem – Ma'an - Israeli army bulldozers uprooted more than two hundred olive trees in Beit Hanina north of Jerusalem on Monday morning amid resistance by Fatah activists and other national forces.

Spokesman for the leadership of the Fatah movement in the territory of Jerusalem Dimitri Diliani said that Israeli soldiers went into the valley in the southern town of Beit Hanina and razed the 500-year-old olive grove.

He added that Fatah activists in cooperation with other national forces tried to stop them.

He said that the Israeli authorities aim is to confiscate the lands surrounding Beit Hanina as part of their policy to pressure the Arab community of Jerusalem and its surroundings.

Diliani added that a sit in will be staged in Beit Hanina on Monday afternoon in protest at the land confiscation. A peaceful protest is also due to take place on Friday to demonstrate against Israeli practices against the residents of the town.

The secretary of the Fatah movement in Beit Hanina, Muhammad Hamed Matur, said that Israeli forces have used excessive force against citizens who are defending their land.

Hatem Gharably, a member of the Fatah movement, pointed out that the Israeli aithorities have confiscated two-thirds of the town's land and are now trying to take over the remainder.

Gharably added that the townspeople are determined to oppose such Israeli practices. He appealed to the international community to take on its responsibilities in the defense of the citizens and their property.

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