Israeli settlers destroy 350 trees in West Bank olive grove
A group men from the Kedumim settlement felled hundreds trees on Palestinian land, many of which were over 13 years old, according to the farmer’s brother.
The settlers snuck into the olive groves early on Sunday morning and set about destroying the trees before they could be stopped, local resident Ahmad Faruq Sedda told Palestinian news agency Wafa.
صور| مصادر محلية:"مستوطنون يقطعون 350 شجرة زيتون تزيد أعمارها على 13 عاما في أرض زراعية بمنطقة بير الزاغ جنوب قرية جيت شرق قلقيلية". pic.twitter.com/ZLtkIcDf67— شبكة المقدسي للإعلام (@almakdseymedia) January 22, 2023
Clearing olive trees is a increasingly common tactic used by expansionist settlers to drive Palestinians off their land, destroying their harvests and cutting off their income.
"Every time the olive harvest season is approaching, settlers attack Palestinian lands close to their settlements in order to harm our farms and lands," Palestinian farmer Mohammed al-Khatib told The New Arab last year.
Up to 100,000 Palestinians rely on the olive sector for their livelihoods in the West Bank.
Nearly half of all farmed land in the West Bank and Gaza is used to grow olives, which constitute a major part of the Palestinian export market.
A 2012 study by the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem showed that 800,000 Palestinian trees have been felled or uprooted since the occupation began in 1967.
Attacks by settlers on Palestinian land have been increasing year on year, culminating in the worst year of violence in the West Bank since the United Nations began recording such data in 2005.