Israeli military announces plan to uproot 440 olive trees from Naalin village
In a town that has become the forefront of the Palestinian non-violent resistance to the Israeli annexation Wall, the Palestinian residents of Naalin received notice today that the Israeli military plans to uproot hundreds of olive trees – the only source of revenue for most villagers.
Israeli officials say the trees will be relocated – but Palestinian farmers say that replanting of centuries-old olive trees is impossible, and the trees will most certainly die. The Palestinian farmers in the village depend on these trees for the yearly harvest of olives, which they press into olive oil. This is an age-old Palestinian tradition, that has been passed on by generations through the centuries.
According to villager Ibrahim Aahad Khawaja, “A tree, particularly an ancient one, will not survive if you move it from one place to another at this time of the year. Thus, we estimate that 90% of the relocated trees will not be able to bear fruit anymore.”
According to the Israeli military, the Wall must be built through the village's land for Israel's 'security' concerns. But villagers point out that the village lies far from the established 'Green Line' border between the West Bank and Israel, and the route of the Wall through their land is actually to annex for Israel hundreds of acres of land on which Israeli settlements have already been constructed – in direct violation of international law.
Naalin has been holding weekly non-violent protests since last year. The protests challenge the annexation of their land for the construction of the Wall. These protests include both Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, as well as international observers.
The village is planing an ad hoc protest of this latest Israeli move on Wednesday.