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Olive Groves Burn Down Because Of Occupat

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herjihad View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 September 2006 at 1:28pm

QALQILYA, September 3, 2006 (WAFA) -

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign said Sunday that hundreds of olive trees were destroyed in the West Bank City of Qalqilya by fires that broke out on Palestinian land cut off by the Apartheid Wall.

Grassroots revealed that the villages of Azun, Izbit Tabib and Nabi Ilyas lost several hundred dunums of land to the blaze, saying that local people suspect fire may have been started deliberately by Jewish colonisers.

Mayor of Azun said that four hundred dunums were burnt in Azun alone, adding that"Yesterday at around one in the afternoon, people saw smoke coming up over the wall in the north of the village, just a few kilometers from Zufin.

"People gathered by the gate in the wall, but were prevented from going to put out the fire by Occupation soldiers who told them that they had to have permission to enter. After half an hour's protest, the people were finally let through the gates," he said.

In Izbit Tabib said Grassroots, around three hundred and ninety olive trees were completely destroyed, including forty four that were bearing fruit.

Musa Tabib, a local activist for the Popular Committee Against the Wall, said: "It is likely that the fire was started on purpose by settlers from Zufin settlement or by the soldiers.

"This land is closed off by what the Occupation call a 'seasonal gate' which means that people are only allowed to access the olive trees at harvest time. People last had access to this land at the last olive harvest" he added.

Farmers whose land is cut off by the Wall require a permit and proof of ownership which must be shown every time they wish to access their land. Even if they have the appropriate documentation, soldiers sometimes deny access citing 'security reasons'.

Every year for the last three years olive trees cut off by the Wall have been hit by serious fires in the run-up to the harvest. On the fifth of August this year, three thousand olive trees bearing fruit were completely destroyed in Far'un, South Tulkarem, by two fires in the in space of twenty four hours.




Edited by herjihad
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