JORDAN VALLEY, Wednesday, March 02, 2022 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today chased after Gundelia harvesters to the east of Kallet Makhoul area in the northern Jordan Valley, according to an activist.
Aref Daraghmeh, an activist, told WAFA that the settlers from nearby colonial settlement outposts, under military protection, chased after Palestinians as they were picking Gundelia, known in Arabic as ‘aqub or Akoub, a plant that grows in the spring time and is harvested by farmers between mid February and the end of March, and detained several of them.
In March 2014, Israeli forces opened fire towards three teens who set out in the early morning to collect gundelia from the lands of Deir al-‘Asal al-Foqa village, south of Hebron, killing a 14-year-old teen and prompting the human rights organization al-Haq to condemn the killing as well as the detention and torture of the other two teens.
While Israeli forces have been arresting and fining Palestinians who forage for the wild plant that Israel considers under the threat of extinction, and confiscating their harvest, Palestinians maintain that the main threat to environmental destruction in the lands where wild plants usually grow is colonial settlement construction.
Designating an area as a nature reserve may convey the impression that Israel wishes to protest the environment. In practice, however, Israeli has been using such designations for advancing the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.