Abu Jabber Soleiby Replants on His Land

14 February 2007

Today, internationals and Palestinians from PSP and Israelis from Rabbis for Human Rights joined Abu Jabber Soleiby in planting nearly 150 olive trees on his land in Beit Ommar. The Soleiby family owns hundreds of dunums of agricultural land near the Beit ‘Ain settlement and have been the victims of some of the most extreme settler violence in the area. Approximately six weeks ago settlers from the Beit ‘Ain settlement cracked open the skull of Abu Jabber’s brother as he sat in his fields on a break from pruning his olive trees. Today was the first day since the assault that he returned to his land.

The Soleiby family has lost hundreds of olive trees and grapevines to settler destruction. The settlers periodically snap the grapevines in half, cut down olive trees, burn trees and vines, and now have been dumping sewage water into the natural spring near the Soleiby land so that hundreds more vines and trees have been poisoned.

The planting today was completely successful and the settlers were kept away but it will take at least 3 years before these trees can produce olives and a decade or more to replace the productivity of the trees that were lost.