A Palestinian farmer has been ordered by Israeli occupation forces to cut down olive trees that he planted on his land in Battir, west of Bethlehem, Wafa has reported.
According to local activist Omar Al-Qaisi, the Israeli soldiers also left notices which were found by the landowner. They included an order for the farmer never to work on his farm again once he has destroyed his olive trees.
Al-Qaisi pointed out that illegal settlers have stolen olive trees from local farmers on previous occasions. Settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the occupied West Bank are escalating, he added.
Battir is described as the land of olives and vines and is on both the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger.
The olive harvest is the main source of income for thousands of Palestinian households. Israeli settlers have been responsible for destroying thousands of olive trees in the occupied territories over the years, primarily around harvest season to maximise the damage and effect on the owners.
Olive trees are symbolic of the Palestinian attachment to their land. Drought-resistant, growing in poor soil conditions, and living and bearing fruit for hundreds — even thousands — of years, the trees represent Palestinian resistance and resilience in the face of the brutal Israeli military occupation.