BETHLEHEM, Tuesday, March 16, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli military bulldozers today leveled Palestinian farmland to the northwest of Beit Jala city, west of the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to an activist.
Director of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Commission in Bethlehem, Hassan Breijah, said that an Israeli military force escorted a bulldozer into Wadi al-Makhrour, where the heavy machinery razed a plot of farmland, covering an area of four donums, belonging to Ramzi Qaisieh.
Wadi al-Makhrour is a popular hiking spot for Palestinians. It is best enjoyed during the late afternoon in the summer when the sun is about to set.
According to the online portal for Palestinian tourism, www.visitpalestine.ps, the area encompasses both natural and agricultural landscapes and is well known for its ancient terraces and stone towers called qusur, built of neatly placed rocks that used to serve as storage rooms for various crops planted in the wadi.
The area is famous for its hills replete with agricultural terraces full of olive, apricot, and fig trees. The abundance of the place is owed to the underground natural springs and also to the hard work of the landowners. Some parts of the valley are home to natural forests with remarkable tree species such as Palestine oak (Quercus calliprinos).
Israeli forces have been targeting Wadi al-Makhrour seeking to forcefully displace the indigenous Palestinian residents from their land for Jewish-only settlement expansion.
The largely Christian city of Beit Jala is flanked by Gilo and Har Gilo settlements to the north and northwest.