Army, Settlers, Destroy Palestinian Olive Trees in Al-Jab’a

23 February 2011

On the morning of Tuesday, February 22, 2011, Israeli Forces, along with the Israeli Civil Administration and several settlers, used two bulldozers and chainsaws to destroy Palestinian olive trees in Al-Jab’a, a small village to the north of Beit Ommar. All of the trees on 200 dunums of land were cut down. Additionally, several irrigation walls on these lands were bulldozed.

The trees belong to several Palestinian farmers, including Mousa Hamdan Abu Loha, Azat Abu Latifa, Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Loha, Ahmad Sobhia, and Mohammad Abed Al-Latif.

The land where the trees were destroyed were located alongside the Israeli settlement of Bat Ayn. Settlers from Bat Ayn were seen felling trees with chainsaws while soldiers operated the bulldozers. Settlers then piled the pieces of cut up trees into cars.

Al-Jab’a is a small village of around 900 people that is situated west of Bethlehem and north of Beit Ommar. Al-Jab’a lies on the Green Line, the dividing line between Israel and the West Bank. The village is surrounded by settlements, with Gush Etzion to the east, Betar Illit to the north, and Bat Ayn to the south. Israeli settlers, particularly from Bat Ayn, periodically harass the villagers of Al-Jab’a with impunity. Additionally, the main road connecting Al-Jab’a to the nearby village of Surif is blocked by the Israeli Authorities.