Israeli forces cut down and uprooted hundreds of Palestinian-owned olive trees in the Jordan Valley area of the northern occupied West Bank, on Monday.
Mutaz Bisharat, a Palestinian official who monitors settlement activity in the Jordan Valley/Tubas district, told Ma’an News Agency that the Israeli Civil Administration staff raided the Bardala village, in the northern Jordan Valley, and bulldozers began to uproot olive trees.
Bisharat confirmed that more than 520 olive trees were either cut down or uprooted.
He added that the olive trees were about 15 years old.
Bisharat also mentioned that the olive trees belonged to five Palestinian residents. About 250 trees belonged to Muhammad Salah Yousef Sawafta, 160 trees belonged to Amer Sawafta, 70 trees belonged to Amer Ehmil, 40 trees belonged to Izzat al-Rashayda, and four dunams (0.98 acres) of chickpea harvest belonged to Ziyad Sawafta.
The Jordan Valley forms a third of the occupied West Bank, with 88% of its land classified as Area C — under full Israeli military control.
International rights organizations consider the continuation of the Israeli campaign which targets Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, whether though confiscations, demolitions or evictions under the pretext of holding military exercises, as a violation of international humanitarian law.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.