Israeli settlers cut down 150 olive and grape trees in Wad Abu Reesh
On Monday, March 12, 2012, at about 6am, Israeli settlers from Bat Ayin settlements cut down around 150 olive and grape trees, owned by Hamad Alsalaby in Wad Abu Reesh, while soldiers provided security to the settlers. The Bat Ayin settlement was established in 1989, and is well-known for its violent attacks against Palestinians. Palestinians don’t like to walk alone through the land because there’s a chance the settlers will shoot at them.
Most of the settlers are opposed to any sort of fence separating the Palestinian land from the settlement because they consider all of the land as belonging to them, despite the settlement being illegal under international law. The settlers tend to be very religious, and from all over the world: U.S., Europe, Russia, etc. Wad Abu Reesh is covered in plum, olive and grape trees, which the settlers periodically cut down to hurt the Palestinian farmers economically and to frighten them into leaving the land. Activists from Palestine Solidarity Project went to observe the situation, and found a large rock with graffiti in Hebrew that referred to the “price tag” movement. The “price tag” campaign is led by violent right-wing settlers who are known for burning mosques, attacking Palestinian people and property, and setting fire to Palestinian fields, as the “price” for any actions against the settlements. For more information on “price tagging” and settler violence: http://www.btselem.org/settler_violence.