31 May 2011
Settlers burn ancient olive trees in Tel Rumeida
by Esther Mae
At 4:30 p.m. on
27 May 2011, CPT received a call that settlers set fire to olive orchards on
the Abu Haikel property in Tel Rumeida.
By the time Paulette Schroeder, Laurens van Esch, and Esther Mae Hinshaw
arrived at the Abu Haikel house, the fire had almost gone out.
One of the Abu
Haikel sons took the CPTers to the scene of the fire. As some of the trees were
still smoldering, a Palestinian fireman from the Hebron Municipality continued
to monitor the scene. The fireman
reported that soldiers had taken all of their new fire hoses and given them old
hoses to use. Later, when the CPTers asked the soldiers to return the new
equipment to the last remaining fireman, they did not respond.
The fire affected
sixteen ancient olive trees, some more than a thousand years old, in an area of
almost two dunums (one-half acre). The
soldiers from the post nearby yelled at the CPTers to leave the field, but CPTers
called out to them that they were on land belonging to the Abu Haikel family,
who had invited them to be there. When
the CPTers continued to take pictures, the soldiers took no further action.
Asked whether the
trees would one day produce olives again, the son responded, “No, they’ve
burned them for the last seven years.”
See more photos of the Abu
Heikels’ burnt fields and olive trees at https://cpt.org/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=23097.