Settlers Chop down Palestinian-Owned Trees in Hebron

HEBRON, April 27, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers Monday chopped down dozens of grape, almond and olive trees in the town of Halhoul, north of Hebron, according to local sources.

Hassan Akel, one of the land owners, told WAFA that a group of Jewish settlers from the nearby illegal settlement of Karmi Tzour broke into his  grape vine near Halhoul, before they proceeded to sabotage and destroy around 85 grape trees.

The settlers also chopped off about 30 olive trees and a number of almond trees planted in a nearby land belonging to another local.

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 depend 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.