Beit Ommar Farmers Continue Planting in the Saffa Valley

11 April 2011

On the morning of Monday, April 11th, volunteers from the Palestine Solidarity Project joined with the National Committee of Beit Ommar to complete planting in the Saffa region of the village. Seven village residents and five internationals met in the fields across from Bat Ayn settlement at 8:00 am. Upon their arrival, they discovered arrival that olive saplings in a field planted on Saturday had been uprooted, presumably by settlers or Israeli military forces.

The farmers and volunteers quickly planted the forty remaining olive trees set aside for the region. Once the new trees were in the ground, the group returned to the previous planting site and re-planted the trees that had been torn out.

Two members of the Israel Defense Forces arrived as the work finished. While the workers gathered up tools and extra materials, the soldiers demanded to see identification. They claimed the area was a closed military zone, but refused to show the required paperwork. Four villagers and two internationals were forced to wait while the soldiers checked their papers, but no arrests were made and the party left Saffa unhindered.

Since Saturday, roughly 240 new olive trees have been planted in the region.