JERUSALEM, April 23, 2018 (WAFA) – Israeli bulldozers Monday razed lands belonging to residents from the village of Sur Baher, to the southeast of occupied Jerusalem, in spite of ongoing legal battle between its Palestinian owners and the Israeli authority, according to one of the landowners.
Ahmad Nimr, a landowner, said that bulldozers uprooted olive trees planted on 56 dunums, of farming land, adding that the trees and land belong to four local families and that the land has been planted for over 100 years with 500 olive trees, which landowners cultivate and harvest every year.
He said landowners tried to explain to the Israeli forces that sealed off the area before the bulldozers proceeded to destroy the land and uproot the trees that there was a legal case regarding the land in Israeli courts that has not been settled yet and that there is a court order barring any work on the land for two months until a decision is made regarding its future.
In 1972, Israeli authorities decided to seize this land. The owners objected to the decision, showing land deeds proving their ownership of the land. The judge, in 1984, banned construction on the land but allowed owners to use it for farming purposes.
Israel announced its intention to build a settlement on the land 2010. The settlement was supposed to include 160 housing units exclusively for retired Israeli police and military members.