HEBRON, February 18, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Wednesday uprooted around 550 newly planted olive saplings in the town of ash-Shuyukh to the northeast of Hebron, according to local sources.
Sources told WAFA that settlers from the illegal settlements of Asfar and Bani Kadim uprooted olive trees’ saplings belonging to the families of Abd al-Qader and Mousa al-Ayaydeh.
The saplings were planted with the help of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) and pro-Palestinian activists.
Local residents strongly denounced settlers’ ‘heinous actions’ of destroying residents’ land, stressing that they will remain steadfast in their land and replant the trees again.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces uprooted dozens of Palestinian-owned olive trees in the northern West Bank town of Tayasir, east of Tubas north of the West Bank.
Israeli settlers often target Palestinians and their land in an attempt to empty the area and as a prelude to take over it for the benefit of settlement expansion.
According to a United Nations’ OCHA report, ‘Israeli settlers destroyed over 5,500 Palestinian-owned olive trees and saplings in the period between December 30 2014, and January 12, 2015.”
Throughout the centuries, Palestinians farmers have made their living from olive cultivation and olive oil production.
In the West Bank alone, some 100,000 families are dependent on olive sales. Nowadays, the olive harvest provides Palestinian farmers with anywhere between 25 to 50 percent of their annual income, and as the economic crisis deepens, the harvest provides for many their basic means of survival.