TUBAS, Thursday, September 12, 2019 (WAFA) – Israeli military today uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed water wells in Um Kbeish area neat Tammun town, south of Tubas, in the northeastern West Bank, said human rights activist.
Aref Daraghmeh confirmed that Israeli military arrived to Um Kbeish, where they uprooted scores of olive trees and destroyed four water wells used for irrigation by local Palestinian farmers.
The area has been a frequent target of Israeli demolition raids. On June 11, dozens of olive trees and two wells were destroyed by Israeli military bulldozers in the area.
Commenting on the June 11 demolition, Palestinian human rights organization Al Haq said that the Palestinian landowners has has documents proving ownership of the land and has planted olive trees since 2012, enduring financial hardships in maintaining its continued irrigation. In 2012, after they bought costly plastic water tanks to fill with tankered water, Israel issued a “removal notification” for the tanks.
In 2014, after the family constructed a water well, funded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Israel issued another “removal notification” under the pretext that the land constituted “State land.” The family filed a complaint and had a court hearing set for June 24. Ignoring this, Israel’s demolition took place on June 11.
Local Palestinian farmers are prevented from tending to their lands under the pretext that their farming area is designated as a nature reserve by Israeli authorities.
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.
The denial of access of Palestinian residents to their agricultural land leaves the lands uncultivated and therefore subject to confiscation by the Israeli authorities.
Israeli politicians have made it clear on several occasions that the highly strategic Jordan Valley would remain under their control in any eventuality.