Israeli authorities delivered notices, on Monday, to Palestinian farmers in Salfit, telling them of plans to uproot 140 olive trees.The Palestinian farms to be targeted by the Israeli occupation are located in the town of Qarawat Bani Hassan in Salfit, occupied West Bank.
Khalid Maali, who monitors settler activity in Salfit, said that the Israeli occupation always uproot trees and destroy Palestinian farms under pretext of maintaining natural reserves, Days of Palestine reports. However, he stressed that this is just a pretext to take over Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.
Maali said there are three natural reserves in Salfit alone which have been used as a pretext for settlement expansion.
According to the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), there are at least 48 natural reserves, which take up 12.4 percent of land across the occupied West Bank.
“The destruction and distortion of natural reserves in the occupied West Bank for the implementation of the various Israeli colonial projects is just an integral part of what happens in the occupied West Bank,” ARIJ said in a report.
The olive industry supports the livelihoods of roughly 80,000 Palestinian families in the occupied West Bank, and Salfit district in particular is known for its fertile soil and large olive trees.
Since 1967, approximately 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted in the occupied West Bank, according to a joint report by the Palestinian Authority and ARIJ.