Uprooting of the Olive trees in ‘Aboud village

Uprooting of the Olive trees in ‘Aboud village


Throughout the years of the Israeli occupation and the day-after-day Israeli colonization activities in the West Bank, fruitful trees have been systematically uprooted and destroyed, particularly since the beginning of the second Intifada in September 2000.

The olive tree has always been a target of the Israeli aggression on the Palestinian lands, part of an orderly attack to divest the Palestinian land of its existence. Thousands of olive trees have been uprooted in the Palestinian territories for the so-called security reasons. According to ARIJ GIS database, a total of (one million +) of Olive trees were uprooted since 1967 out of 12 million Olive trees planted on 750.000 dunums of lands..

'Aboud is a small Palestinian village located 16 kilometers to the northwest of Ramallah city and embraces a built-up area of 0.5 km2 with a total population of 2171 inhabitants of whom the majority are Christians has been recently a target of the Israeli violations.

The church of Santa Barbara

On May 31, 2002, the Israeli army entirely destroyed the Church of Santa Barbara, in 'Aboud village near Ramallah city. Thisfamous archeological site, located on the nearby hilltop is dedicated to St. Barbara which goes back to the fifth century. The church is a very old cave carved on the rock where Christians and even Moslems of the region used to go to on December the 17th of each year to celebrate the ceremony. The Israeli authorities claimed that this church was destroyed by mistake and their unawareness of the existence of this sacred place.

As Santa Barbara day is celebrated indoors, people of the village are deprived to participate in this occasion as the church no longer exists. The question is:'' Was Santa Barbara guilty? Does she deserve what happened to her church? Or the inhabitants of the village are guilty for being Christian Palestinians?''

Uprooting of trees    

On December 1, 2003 and under the supervision of Mosheh Kaplenski the Chief Commander of the Israeli Defense Forces in Judea & Samaria,the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) hanged on each tree unofficial papers notifying that the IOF needs to uproot more than 35 Olive trees in 'Aboud village. Papers were hanged on trees announcing the following:

1. Olive trees to be cut for Security reasons.

2. Owners have the right to object the incident in a maximum duration of three days at the civil administration of Beit Ill in Ramallah district.

 Mosheh Kaplenski the
Chief Commander of the Israel Defense Forces in Judea & Samaria


Map of incident



Table 1: Names of people affected due to the uprooting of trees 

Name of owners

No. of Trees uprooted

'Abed Allah Odeh Hanna Bishariya


Suliman El Mashni


Sa'ad Elias Bishariya


Daoud Ibrahim Sa'id


The Islamic Waqf



For many Palestinians, the olive tree is the symbol of their nation, culture, heritage and identity. The uprooting of the ancient olive trees, by the IOF, has had severe effects on the Palestinian agriculture, economy, and way of life. In Palestine, the olive tree is prized for its historical presence, its beauty and most importantly for its economic significance. Olive trees are a major commercial crop for Palestine, and many families depend on it for their livelihood.



Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Agriculture