Israeli occupation authorities intends to tear out 2000 olive trees from the town of Taqou’ and the entrance of the village of al-Minya, southeast of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank.
Hasan Brijiyeh, a local anti-settlement, anti-wall activist, told WAFA around 2000 fully grown olive trees planted in an 80-dunums of land located along a 1600-meters long and 50-meters wide street between Taqou and al-Minya areas will be cut down by Israeli authorities.
Hundreds of olive trees have been uprooted, burned or cut down by extremist settlers since the annual harvest got under way in the West Bank this month, prompting calls for the Israeli authorities to protect Palestinian farmers and their property.
According to the UN, more than 870 trees were vandalized in the first week of the harvest, which began in early October. A coalition of four Israeli human rights organisations said more than 450 trees had been damaged over the past week.
The damage is usually discovered when Palestinian families arrive at their groves to gather the fruit. Sometimes Palestinians are attacked during the harvest itself.
Robert Serry, the UN’s special co-ordinator for the Middle East peace process, said the damage and destruction of trees was reprehensible.
“Israel must live up to its commitments under international law to protect Palestinians and their property in the occupied territory so that the olive harvest — a crucial component of Palestinian livelihoods and the Palestinian economy — can proceed unhindered,” he said.