Ramallah (QNN)- Extremist Israeli settlers uprooted and destroyed over 300 olive trees in al-Mazra’a al-Qibliya village, north of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
The Palestinian farmers said they were shocked when they arrived at their lands, near illegal Israeli settlement of Kerem ‘Elam, in the al-Mazra’a al-Qibliya village, as they discovered that Israeli settlers uprooted and destroyed over 300 of their olive trees.
Israeli forces and settlers prevent the Palestinian farmers from accessing their lands in the al-Mazra’a al-Qibliya village, as they installed an iron gate and set up cement blocks on the road leading to the area.
Since the establishment of the illegal settlement of Kerem ‘Elam outpost in 2003, the occupation has been imposing movement restrictions, especially in olive harvesting season, which hinders access to more than 200 dunums of olive groves.
In reality, this outpost is a continuation of an Israeli scheme previously announced. The scheme is basically to form a huge settlement cluster that links Dulib , Nahliel , Talmon and Kerem ‘Elim, which if implemented will block vast areas of lands and segregate the north-west Ramallah suburbs from the city.
During the recent few years, settlers of the outpost carried out dozens of attacks against Palestinian farmers and inhabitants of al-Mazra’a al-Qibliya.
Israeli occupation forces constantly attack Palestinians while harvesting their crops.
Also, extremist Israeli settlers always uproot and steal the Palestinians’ trees.
According to United Nations monitors, more than 4,000 olive trees and other tree crops have been burned or removed by Israeli settlers and forces in 2020.
The committee against the wall and settlement on Sunday said Israeli forces uprooted, broke, and damaged 6507 trees in 869 operations in 2020.
The ancient olive trees are regarded by Palestinians as a symbol of their connection to the land. Each year, during the olive harvesting season, such incidents spike across the occupied West Bank.
There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Olives are Palestine’s most important crop, whose oil is exported around the globe and whose annual harvest is a crucial source of income for thousands of farming families.
Olive cultivation contributes up to $100 million in income for some of the poorest Palestinian communities, OXFAM once said in a report.