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Israeli bulldozers uproot 100 Palestinian olive trees in Salfit-area

July 18, 2018 11:51 A.M. (Updated: July 23, 2018 3:45 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 100 Palestinian-owned olive trees from the Deir Ballut village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Salfit on Tuesday.

A resident of the village, Abdullah Idris told Ma'an that Israeli bulldozers entered the eastern part of Deir Ballut and uprooted olive trees near his home.

Idris added that Israeli bulldozers uprooted more than 100 olive trees out of 224 olive and almond trees; the trees were all between five and six years old.

Idris pointed out that Israeli forces uprooted the trees in order to expand the illegal Israeli settlement of Lishim, that is built on the lands of Palestinian residents of Deir Ballut.

According to Palestinians and rights groups, Israel’s main goal, both in its policies in Area C, in which more than 60% of Palestinian land is under full Israeli control, and Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, is to depopulate the land of its Palestinian residents and to replace them with Jewish Israeli communities, in order to manipulate population demographics in all of historic Palestine.

The mayor of Deir Ballut, Yahiya Mustafa, told Ma'an that Israel continues to raze and level lands of Deir Ballut.

Mustafa added that the Israeli authorities handed Deir Ballut resident, Jbara Mirshed, a stop-construction order to stop construction in his land, where he intended to build a house.

The Israeli authorities also delivered a demolition notice to resident Taysir Abdullah, who owns a steel structure of a total space of 2 dunams (0.50 acres) that he uses for sheep and cows.

The movement of Israeli settlers taking over Palestinian land, and further displacing the local Palestinian population has been a "stable" Israeli policy since the takeover of the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967, B'Tselem said, underscoring that all "Israeli legislative, legal, planning, funding, and defense bodies" have played an active role in the dispossession of Palestinians from their lands.

B’Tselem also argued that under the guise of a "temporary military occupation," Israel has been "using the land as its own: robbing land, exploiting the area’s natural resources for its own benefit and establishing permanent settlements," estimating that Israel had dispossessed Palestinians from some 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) of lands in the occupied Palestinian territory over the years.

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