Deir Ballut’s fruitful olive trees cut for Wall Constructions

Deir Ballut’s fruitful olive trees cut for Wall Constructions


(Photo 1: Deir Ballut-Salfit: olive trees' owners  inspecting the size of damage)


At the end of January, 2007, the Israeli occupation forces cut about 206 fruitful olive trees  from the lands of Deir Ballut, Salfit. The cut trees are located in the valley of  Al Ein (the spring valley) in the village's southern land parts.


The trees were cut so as to make room for the construction of the Segregation Wall in that particular area despite the fact that the trees had been planted ten years ago. On the other hand, the Israeli occupation forces prohibit Palestinians of Deir Ballut form planting any new trees in the area in the target area under the pretext of being located in zone C which is under total Israeli control by Olso agreements. The uprooted trees are owned by:



Name of owner

# of trees


Ra'ed Khalid Mustafa



Juda Tufaha



Ghaleb Ifteih



Ghaleb Abdul Fattah



Abdullah Afteih





Additional constraints

Also, and as part of the on going economic war against the people of the village, the Israeli authorities prevent farmers from cultivating their lands in the western part of the village under the pretext of the existence of a training military camp and proximity to the path of the Segregation Wall.  


On the other hand, the Israeli occupation authorities have released a large number of wild pigs in village's lands, including the Deir Ballut's plateau which led to the spoilage of agricultural crops especially the newly-planted. This fact has caused a big problem for the residents of Deir Ballut, in addition to the ruining of the crops. The wild pigs have caused panic and fear among the residents, especially children, as they attack people ferociously.





(Photo 2: A wild pig grazing in Deir Ballut's land)


This Israeli action comes as a step in a campaign to fight the Palestinians of Deir Ballut in their livelihoods, especially after they have lost their work inside the Israeli proper following the establishment of the Wall on the lands of the village and other villages located on the proximity of the Green Line. This step is significantly damaging given the fact that the residents of the village depend largely on the Al Ein valley and Deir Ballut's plateau associated with the village to secure the food supply and needs. The Village Council has been continuously updating the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) about the Israeli actions and violations in the valley. A study by both entities has been prepared about the feasibility of placing a fence around the plateau to prevent the wild pigs from entering it. Yet, the problem still remains that Israeli authorities would not allow any Palestinian step in the area because it is classified as Area C.


The Village of Deir Ballut

The village is located 20 kilometers to the west of the city of Salfit which makes it one of the frontline villages in the governorate as it is situated on the Green Line. The population of the village is about 4000 according to 2005 estimates. There are a number of clans in the village including the clans of AbduIlah, Odeh, Musa, Qasem, Mustafa and Sabra, in addition to a number of smaller refugee clans (constituting about 12% of the village's population.) See Map 1





The total area of the village is about 13.941 dunums, 10.000 dunums of which are located in the plateaus and is used to grow winter and summer crops. The built up area of the village is about 809 dunums and the remaining lands are used as range land and are located to the west of the village close to the Green Line, while the remaining area which is mostly planted with olive orchards has become part of the lands separated behind the Wall. The available data indicates that the village has lost more than 17,000 dunums of its fertile agricultural lands to Israel during the 1948 war.


Deir Ballut's Plateau

The Plateau is located in the east and northeastern direction of the village and it is considered to be the main source of income for more than 90% of the village residents. Its area is about 10,000 dunums and is usually used for agriculture year round due to its high fertility and the water availability. The plateau was – and still is- a target for Israeli occupation authorities due to its strategic location as the village is situated on the Green Line and Tel Aviv is not far away from it. As such, an army watch tower has been erected at the edge of the plateau.



(Photo 3:in the background is Deir Ballut village, in the foreground is )


In addition, the village of Deir Ballut is considered to be the connection ring between the governorates of Salfit and Ramallah. All these factors made the village a target for Israeli expansion policies and steps have been taken to realize these policies including the attempt that was carried out in 1999 to move the Israeli military camp in Hawara, south of Nablus, to the plateau of Deir Ballut. Yet, the circumstances created in the aftermath of the second Intifada of 2000 delayed the execution of this step. Such a delay does not mean that the danger has vanished because the plateau is still under the threat of being confiscated at any given point under the pretext that it is classified as Area C according to the Oslo Accords.   



Prepared by
The Land Research Center



Categories: Agriculture