Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Israeli settler bulldozers uproot 500 olive trees in Salfit

NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli settler bulldozers under the protection of Israeli army and intelligence forces uprooted hundreds of olive trees from Palestinian lands in the village of Iskaka in eastern Salfit on Wednesday morning.

Local activist Khalid Maali told Ma’an that two bulldozers belonging to settlers from the illegal Israeli outpost of Nefih Hanania and the nearby Rachelim settlement razed 35 dunams (8.6 acres) of agricultural land planted with some 500 olive trees in the eastern al-Bayyada area of the village, near the outpost and settlement.

Head of the Iskaka village council Abd al-Qader Abu Hakmeh told Ma’an that villagers were taken by surprise when the convoy stormed the village and uprooted the olive trees without giving prior notice, under the pretext that they were located on state lands confiscated by Israel.

A spokesperson for Israel's Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is responsible for implementing the Israeli government's policy in the occupied Palestinian territory, did not reply to a request for comment on the incident.

Maali said that land leveling had escalated recently in the occupied West Bank, especially around Salfit for the expansion of the 24 illegal Israeli settlements surrounding the district. Iskaka has been subjected to numerous Israeli confiscations over the years for the construction of Israeli settlements, checkpoints, outposts, bypass roads, and Israel’s separation wall. more

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