On Sunday, Palestinian farmers who were finally allowed to enter their orchards near Nablus, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, found out that paramilitary Israeli colonies uprooted at least 700 olive trees.

Hani Odah, the head of Qusra Town Council, south of Nablus, said the farmers managed to obtain a two-day permit to enter their olive orchards, isolated behind the illegal Israeli Annexation Wall.

Odah added that once the Palestinians entered the orchards, they found out that the paramilitary colonizers from the nearby illegal Migdalim, built on stolen lands, cut the trees before stealing them.

The orchards are isolated behind the wall, and the Palestinians need special permits to enter them, especially during the olive harvest season, while the colonizers have unrestricted direct access to the lands.

The orchards, about 300 Dunams, were invaded by the colonizers who uprooted the trees and planted them near the illegal Esh Kodesh colony, in addition to preparing a road from the orchards to their colony.

All of Israel’s colonies in the occupied West Bank, including those in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, the Fourth Geneva Convention in addition to various United Nations and Security Council resolutions. They also constitute war crimes under International Law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states: “The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” It also prohibits the “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory”.