Israeli settlers today uprooted dozens of olive saplings in the area of al-Baq‘a, east of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, local sources said.
Aref Jaber, a local activist, told WAFA that settlers, under the Israeli military protection, broke into over 25 donums of Palestinian-owned land in the area, and uprooted dozens of the olive saplings planted there.
The settlers came from the illegal Israeli colonial settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Jaber called on international and human rights organizations to strengthen the steadfastness of Palestinian landowners in the area and that the competent authorities provide them with access to necessary services as they are under constant threat from the Israeli forces and settlers.
The lands of Al-Baqa’a are considered the “food basket” of Hebron, and they’re subjected to almost daily attacks by the Israeli forces and settlers, including the razing and demolitions of water pools, with the aim of forcibly kicking Palestinians out in favor of settlers.
Palestinians plant around 10,000 new olive trees in the West Bank each year, most of which are of oil-producing varieties.
However, Palestinians see the destruction of their trees as a way for the occupation to erase Palestinian identity and force them to cede more land to Israel.
According to United Nations monitors, more than 4,000 olive trees and other tree crops have been burned or removed by Israeli settlers and soldiers since the start of 2020.
The committee against the wall and settlement on Sunday said Israeli forces uprooted, broke, and damaged 6507 trees in 869 operations in 2020.