Salfit (QNN)- Israeli forces chopped off over 200 olive trees in the village of Deir Istiya in Salfit this morning.
The mayor of the village, Saeed Zeidan, told QNN that Israeli forces accompanied by bulldozers raided the village at 6:00 am and bulldozed over 200 olive trees, which are over 20 years old, leveling 14 dunums.
He added that nearly two months ago, the owner of the land found leveling notes, which claim that his land is owned by the ‘state of Israel’. The owner filed a lawsuit for an Israeli court but the Israeli army rushed to level the land today.
Zeidan noted that “the occupying authorities have in the last two months intensified its settlement and land-grabbing activities in addition to the demolition notices and trees uprooting.”
He stressed that the Israeli army has uprooted thousands of the village’s fruitful trees since 1967.
Deir Istiya has 36,500 dunums of agricultural lands, however, 68% of them are located in the area classified as ‘C’ under the Oslo Accords. 11 dunums of the village’s lands are classified by the Israelis as “natural reserves” that Palestinians cannot use although they have documents that prove their ownership of the lands.
Deir Istiya is one of Palestine’s three top olive producing villages, moreover, it is planted with hundreds of other fruitful trees. It’s 12 water springs helped to keep it an ideal environment for most kinds of trees.
Zeidan noted that the Israeli army dug an water well to steal water from the village and provide illegal settlers with over 280 million cube meters of water, depriving the village and all villages around from water.