November 7th 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank
Several olive trees and one apricot tree were destroyed on the morning of November 5th in a section of Khalil (Hebron) called Jales Mount, which is near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Rashed Zaroo showed the damage to internationals that afternoon. He explained that the land is owned by his father and uncle Fayez, before that his grandfather acquired the land in the early twentieth century. The trees were planted forty years prior and were some of the strongest in a large grove that produced olives and fruit. Five months ago Shakel Zaroo was attacked and gassed by settlers that he caught damaging his property. In addition five hundred square meters of the Zaroo family land was confiscated to build the Route 60 settlers highway.
The neighboring families’ land has seen even more devastation, the Abu Rmela and Abo Sunina families had approximately 400 olive trees burned by settlers last year. The land was so unsightly that the Israeli government brought heavy equipment to remove the debris and then redistribute the uneven ground caused by the massive uprooting.
These practices come under the protection of the Israeli army. The illegal settlers who live in Hebron are of the most dangerous fanatics in all of the West Bank.
There is a spiritual link between these trees and the Palestinians and the right to live with dignity on their land has been violated by the occupying forces. The trees are rooted in this land both physically and culturally.
by Team Khalil