[News] Palestine: Jewish Settlers Torch 100 of World's Oldest Olive Trees

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 25 16:49:01 EST 2018


  Palestine: Jewish Settlers Torch 100 of World's Oldest Olive Trees

Tabatha Kinder - January 25, 2018

Israeli settlers in the northern occupied West Bank have razed to the 
ground huge swathes of Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the town 
of Huwara, according to reports.

The fields were set on fire by "masked settlers", Al-Resalah newspaper 
who snuck on to the land and poured petrol on it before setting it 
alight. Around 100 olive trees were destroyed in the blaze, which spread 
as locals were prevented from attending the fire by Israeli forces.

Olive trees in Israel hold vast religious and cultural significance to 
both Jews and Palestinians. As well as being the livelihood of many 
Palestinian farmers, the trees are thought to be the "oldest on Earth" 
are mentioned in the Old Testament numerous times.

Olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane near the Old City of Jerusalem 
are believed to be up to 900 years old and belong to the same lineage as 
the olive trees among which Jesus Christ prayed the night before his 

The mayor of Huwara said that Israeli occupation forces prevented 
Palestinian citizens from reaching the lands in order to extinguish the 

However the Jewish press in Israel is reporting that the cause of the 
fires is unknown and Israeli and Palestinian fire crews "worked 
together" to put out the blaze.The Jerusalem Post 
that police are investigating the incident.

*Clashes in harvest season*

In previous weeks, the owners of the fields have also reportedly being 
banned from working the land without being escorted by occupation 
forces, which means they have been unable to harvest the olive trees.

Huwara has witnessed continuous clashes between Israeli settlers and 
Palestinians due to its proximity to the Yitzhar settlement, where 
around 20,000 Jewish people live in 39 Jewish-only settlements.

"Palestinian residents, for their part, complain of repeated attacks by 
settlers, who usually enjoy the protection of Israeli military 
personnel", Anadolu news agency reports.

Attacks on agricultural land are widespread at this time of year – the 
start of the olive harvest season – and several Palestinian towns have 
seen their crops stolen, olive trees cut and lands confiscated, says 
Middle East Monitor. 

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