23 April 2013
SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Olive Trees Uprooted
|Israeli soldiers uproot trees April 23 in occupied Palestine.|
and border police used a backhoe to uproot 200 young olive trees in the Palestinian
village of Susya in the South Hebron Hills on 23 April. The demolition of
the olive grove began at 8:00 am and finished at 10:45 am. The trees
destroyed were planted about one year ago on land belonging to three families
of the village, across a valley from the Israeli settlement of Susya.
The village of Susya has existed since around 1830, and is
present on British maps from 1917. In l983 Israeli settlers built a
settlement at Susya, and many of the village’s residents were forced from their
homes. These families now live nearby in isolated sites to the north of
the settlement. The Israeli Civil Administration has informed residents
of Palestinian Susya of their intention to carry out six demolition orders that
were issued in the 1990s and in 2001. The orders cover fifty buildings,
including homes, animal pens, solar energy panels and water cisterns.
These demolition orders have been issued despite the fact
that Palestinian ownership of the land in Palestinian Susya is well established
legally. Israeli attorney Plea Albeck stated in a legal opinion in 1982
that the land in Palestinian Susya is Palestinian owned. Because the
Israeli Civil Administration has not completed a master plan for the region,
the residents of Palestinian Susya are unable to obtain building permits.
Since 2001 Israel has, through its military and settlers in
the West Bank and Gaza, uprooted, burnt and destroyed more than 548,000 olive
trees belonging to Palestinian farmers and land owners.