Palestinians plant trees on land Israel threatening to seize

Palestinians planting hundreds of trees in occupied West Bank after Israel uprooted olive crops
2 min read
14 June, 2021
Palestinians are aiming to plant at least 2,500 trees across the West Bank to protest Israeli land theft.
Palestinians are planting trees across the West Bank [Getty]

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have launched a mass tree planting scheme on land that Israel is threatening to seize, according to state media on Monday.

The Agricultural Development Association planted 100 trees in the village of Jayyous, east of Qalqilia - adjacent to Israel's so-called separation wall - which Palestinians say is a deliberate show of resistance against the occupation with hundreds of more saplings to be planted across the West Bank.

Ahed Zanabit, director of the association for the northern West Bank region, said the initiative emphasised the right of the Palestinian people to their land amid Israeli land seizures and settlement expansions, according to national news agency Wafa.

He also highlighted the repeated Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians and their land, including the destruction, uprooting, and burning of olive trees.

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Similar events will be taking place throughout the West Bank with the aim of planting at least 2,500 young trees across the Palestinian territories.

Many Palestinians in rural areas have little alternative to olive farming for income with the harvest taking place in autumn.

Rights groups say that Israeli settlers repeatedly vandalise and destroy Palestinian olive farms and crops in a deliberate attempt to stifle revenues. 

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, and commits various abuses against Palestinian civilians, human rights groups say.

More than 700,000 Jewish Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

The Oslo agreement of 1995 divided the occupied West Bank into three zones: Area A, Area B, and Area C.

Area A is under the administrative and security control of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Area B's administration is controlled by the PA, with Israel controlling security. Area C is under full administrative and security control of Israel.