Israeli Colonists set Olive Trees on Fire in Sa’ir Town

Israeli Colonists set Olive Trees on Fire in Sa’ir Town
Violation: torching olive trees.
Date: May 25, 2010.
Violators: Asfar colonists.
Victims: jawdat al Shalalda and sons of Ratib abu Haikal.
Flames devoured fields planted with olive trees in Sa’ir town, northern Hebron, and fields in Tal Rmeida area in Hebron city. In Sa’ir: the locals were shocked to see flames spreading around Jawdat al Shalada field. Map 1

The five dunums field consisted of more than 40 trees which were severely damaged.

Pictures 1-3: burn marks – Sa’ir
The locals accused ‘Asfar’ colonists of starting the fire. On the other hand, the flames consumed an olive field that belonged to the sons of Ratib abu Haikal and located in Tal Rmeida, near Beit Yishai colony which is built in the area. Map2
Picture 4: burn marks – Tal Rmeida
According to eyewitnesses, the flames were started by the Israeli colonists. The Israeli Occupation Soldiers stopped the raging flames before they reach the colony. More than 20 ‘Romanian’ olive trees were damaged. ‘Romanian’ Olive trees are very old, exceeding millennia in age.
Picture 5: part of Beit Yishai colony
Abu Haikal lands had previously suffered from similar aggressions; the assailants take advantage of the fact that the land is full of weeds and bushes which accelerates fire. It must be known that the Israeli soldiers and colonists try to prevent the Palestinians from using their land or taking care of it by plowing or planting. The aggression against Tal Rmeida was held in concurrence with efforts done by the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture aimed to preserve the ‘Romanian’ olive which suffers from continuous aggressions.
Besides, the olive trees are suffering from a new disease which urged the MoA to interfere and send in a team of engineers in order to solve the problem; however, the Israeli side, as usual, acted as an obstacle.
Picture 6: damage done by pest
In relation to the damage sustained by the flames, Maher Shalalda, one of the engineering team, stated:’ the flames has severely damaged the trees alongside the soil. This will eventually lead to the unfortunate death of the trees. However, the farmer has one solution before him, he has to uproot the trees and plant other trees instead. That must be done after plowing the land many times. The whole process will cost the farmer a lot, financially and morally, knowing that the trees used to produce olives every year’.
It should be mentioned that the colonists’ aggressions, especially torching trees, is part of the vengeance plan against Palestinian farmers. Israeli colonists intend to avenge burning a Jewish cemetery in Hebron city. They plan to conduct an operation which they called ‘cashing back’ which include burning Palestinian property.  The Israeli Occupation Army announced that none of the graves was damaged by the flames and they did not say if it was man-caused.
Asfar Colony:
Asfar was established in the early 1980’s on lands belonged to families from Sa’ir and Ash Shioukh. The colony is 350 dunums in area and is inhabited by around 200 colonists. The colonists conduct frequent raids on Palestinian farms and villages. They also prevent many Palestinians from exploiting their lands.
Picture 7: Asfar colony overlooking Sa’ir

Categories: Settlers Attacks