Monday, 3 October 2011

While Palestinians begin their olive harvest early, Israeli settlers start their season of destruction Last night under the cover of darkness and under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers Israeli settlers entered Palestinian olive groves and burned and uprooted more than five hundred olive trees in three villages in southern Nablus (Madama, Huwara, and Ainabous) and in the southern Hebron village of Dahriyah. Palestinians in these localities had started early to harvest their crops hoping to be able to circumvent attempts by Israeli settlers to sabotage their harvest by burning and uprooting their olive trees, robbing Palestinians of their livelihood, and terrorizing farmers and their families who go out to harvest their olives. These are not random events. These are crimes of occupation that are being condoned and supported by the Israeli government, whose failure to act shows its disregard for applying the rule of law to the settlers. Dr. Ghassan Khatib, Director of the Government Media Center, said: “The settlers’ season of destruction has begun early. These attacks on olive groves follow an increase in number and severity in recent weeks. The Israeli Government has 1) taken no action to hold these settlers liable for their actions, 2) provides them with full impunity, and 3) even offers them the services of Israeli soldiers to protect them while they are carrying out these illegal crimes.” During the month of September 2011, Israeli settlers were responsible for: • Flooding 40 dunams of agricultural land in Walaja with sewage from their settlement • Burning 20 dunams of agricultural land in Bilin in response to weekly peaceful protests by Bilin residents and international peace activists against the Apartheid Wall • Burning and destroying 63 dunams of agricultural land in Halhoul, Jeet, and Deir Dibwan • Releasing wild boars in the fields of Salfeet • Uprooting, burning, and destroying over 3000 olive trees and grape vines throughout the West Bank These actions seek to prevent economic development in the West Bank. In the recent report “The Economic Costs of the Israeli Occupation for the Occupied Palestinian Territory” it was noted that the Palestinian economy loses 138 million USD annually due to destruction of trees by the Israeli government and/or settlers. Israeli settlers are attempting to terrorize Palestinian villagers and cut off their means of livelihood in order to force them to move out of their localities which are adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlements. Israeli settler transgressions include the burning of the Qusra mosque and the desecration of mosques in the villages of Bir Zeit, Deir Istiya, and Yetma. Furthermore, Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian and seriously injured a disabled person and a youth in hit and run incidents in the Khalil and Ramallah districts and continued to throw rocks at Palestinian vehicles which led to a number of injuries. Dr. Khatib said, “There have been no reported cases of Israeli settlers being held accountable for these crimes. Israel continues to act above the law and shows total disrespect for Palestinians. These violations are all being documented and the international community should hold Israel accountable for violating all norms of human r

No comments:

Post a Comment