Israeli forces uprooted 150 olive trees in the Wadi Qana valley in the central occupied West Bank district of Salfit this morning without prior notice, locals told Ma’an.
Mayor of the nearby village of Deir Istiya Said Zeidan told Ma’an that the “Israeli occupation” uprooted 135 trees, all of which were between two and four years old, and also destroyed a 40-metre-long dry-stone wall in the area.
A spokesperson for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli agency responsible for implementing Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, confirmed that 150 trees were “evicted” on Monday morning for “damaging the natural view and values of the nature resort.”
Deir Istiya’s municipal council member Nathmi Salman told Ma’an that the trees were uprooted without prior notice.
He argued that Israeli authorities “are attempting to control the Wadi Qana area and deprive the [Palestinian] landowners from benefiting from their land under the pretext that it is a natural reserve.”
The uprooted trees belonged to Abd Al-Aziz Abd Al-Qadir Aqil and Muqbil Muhammad Awwad. Salman added that the Israelis “confiscated” the trees after they uprooted them.