Bethlehem Area: Israeli Army Raids Villages, Floods Olive Fields with Sewage

03 Mar
1:20 AM

In the village of al-Khader, near Bethlehem, dozens of Palestinians suffocated by teargas inhalation during confrontations with the Israeli army, local sources reported.Ahmad Salah, coordinator of the Anti-Settlement Committee in the village, said that Israeli forces broke into the village during the afternoon hours, provoking confrontations with local residents.

Salah said, according to WAFA, that soldiers opened live fire towards the protesters, yet there were no reports of casualties. However, there were multiple cases of suffocation by teargas inhalation.

The army also broke into a medical clinic in the nearby village of Wadi Fukin, checking the identity cards of medical staff and searching the clinic. No kidnappings were reported in both villages.

Meanwhile, in the village of Tekoa, the Israeli army flooded sewage into a Palestinian-owned olive-planted land, said a local source.

The village’s mayor, Tayseer Abu Mfarreh, said that army soldiers and settlers broke into an area near the village and proceeded to conduct military exercises, during which they flooded sewage into olive-planted fields.

Attacks on olive trees are a key way by which Palestinians are forced out of their homes and lands confiscated for settlement construction, as the loss of a year’s crop can signal destitution for many.

The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 families in the occupied West Bank.

Since 1967, approximately 800,000 West Bank olive trees have been uprooted, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem.

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