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Israel: Army starts uprooting 2000 olive trees to make way for a settler road.

Tuesday 17 January 2017, by siawi3

Source: Gush Shalom 16.01.2017 23:30 (8 hours ago)

A Palestinian villager and two Israeli activists detained by army when clinging to olive trees in the Qalqiliya area. Army starts uprooting 2000 olive trees to make way for a settler road.

Massive Israeli military forces and numerous bulldozers arrived at the olive groves privately owned by Palestinian farmers from the villages of Nabi Elias, Azun and Izbat Tabib, and embarked on mass uprooting of olive trees in order to make way for the “Nabi Elias Bypass Road".

Dozens of residents, as well as Israeli volunteers, scattered through the groves, clinging to olive trees in an effort to protect them from being uprooted. The army declared the area “a closed military zone” and began expelling the protesters. A Palestinian villager and two Israelis were detained. During the eviction, a Palestinian injured in the leg and required medical treatment.

Israeli activists, organized by the Olive Harvest Coalition – uniting peace and human rights groups specifically concerned with threats to Palestinian olive groves – continue to arrive at the spot and voice their protest, jointly with Palestinian villagers.

Background:

The villages of Nabi Elias, Izbat Tabib and Azzun located along Route 55. Along which a considerable amount of eastward traffic moves daily. The road crosses through the village of Nabi Elias. Settlers using the road asserted that having to pass through a Palestinian village “endangers their security” and used their leverage in the political system to achieve the creation of the “Nabi Elias Bypass Road", a loop about 3 km and a width of several dozen meters wide, which would pass through the countryside north of the present road and would be used by settler traffic.

The road would cut through the olive groves of three Palestinian villages. In order to create it, 150 hectares of olive groves were expropriated, necessitating the uprooting of 2000 trees.

Various appeals and protests have failed to abolish the plan, and the Supreme Court in Jerusalem rejected a plea to issue an injunction. From some leaks to the media is seems that this is but a harbinger of a comprehensive plan to construct similar settler roads in various parts of the West Bank.

At the Peace Conference held in Paris, the representatives of seventy countries called upon all parties to avoid provocative and unilateral steps, in particular to cease the creation and expansion of settlements. It is clear that not only did the Netanyahu government boycott the conference, but it also continues to brazenly continue and intensify the provocative actions for whose cessation the International Community called.

Contact: Ya’akov Ma’nor +972-(0)50-5733276

Photos of the tree uprooting may be freely used, published and reproduced (Credit: David Katz). See at: gush-shalom.org