“500 Trees Destroyed”
Land Razing in Al Khader Village west of Bethlehem Governorate

“500 Trees Destroyed” <br> Land Razing in Al Khader Village west of Bethlehem Governorate
Al Khader village west of Bethlehem city witnessed two Israeli colonial violations resulted in the razing and destroying of about 500 fruit trees owned by two Palestinian citizens from the village.
On March 22, 2012, the Israeli occupation Army bulldozers razed 5 dunums of lands located adjacent to the illegal Israeli settlement of Neve Daniel1 south of Al Kader village, owned by Citizen Khalil Abdel Rahman Salah.
Mr. Salah, the owner of the land, indicated that he owns more than 50 dunums of lands nearby Neve Daniel settlement. On the early morning of March 22, the Israeli occupation Army razed five dunums from his land and uprooted about 400 trees (olive and almonds) without prior notification. He added that his lands is located very close to the aforementioned settlement and he has been cultivating his lands for many years ago. See photos of the targeted lands
Photos 1-6: the targeted Palestinian lands adjacent to Neve Daniel settlement
Moreover, on March 24, 2012, the Israeli settlers residing in the illegal outpost of Hananiya north of Neve Daniel settlement razed 3 dunums of agriculture lands cultivated with olive trees and uprooted about 90 seedlings.
Khader Issa Abu-Ghalyoun, the owner of the targeted land indicated in an interview with ARIJ field workers that a herd of Israeli settlers from the nearby Israeli outpost ‘Hananiya’ have been systematically attacking him as well as the farmers and owners of the neighboring lands, razing properties and destroying trees, where at this time and few weeks after he cultivated dozens of olive seedlings in his land, the Israeli settlers again razed his land and uprooted more than 90 trees. 
The Outpost of Nevi Daniel North ‘Hananiya’
It was illegally established in January 2002. It is located about 1.5 kilometers north of Nevi Daniel settlement and 1.8 kilometers west of Al-Khader village. The outpost started out with one Israeli settler who coarsely took control of one of the mountain tops west of Al-Khader village and set-up a mobile ‘caravan’ (house) in the area, encircled the location with barbed wires and brought protection trained dog to protect his property. The settler, who received support and protection from the Israeli Army while setting up the location of the outpost, has advocated many other settlers to come and join him in the area where he lives.
Since its establishment, the outpost got bigger in size with 12 caravans (mobile homes) in the site inhabited by 16 Israeli settlers, who enjoy basic services and good infrastructure (water, electricity, roads), all come with the courtesy of the Israeli authorities in spite the fact that the outpost is illegal.
A Glance about Al Khader Village:-
 Al-Khader village, a Palestinian community located some 4.5 kilometers east of Bethlehem city.  It is bordered by Husan and Battir villages from the west and northwest, Al Doha and Beit Jala cities from the north and northeast, and Al Duheisha Refugee camp and Artas village from the south. The built-up area of Al- Khader village spreads on 601 dunums of land, about 3% of the village’s total land area (20,090 dunums). The village is a home to 11,062 inhabitants (PCBS 2012), most of who work in the agriculture sector. The village’s rich fertile soil has made farming and agriculture feasible on the land; therefore, agriculture has been and is still considered the major source of income for many families of the village.
Strangulated by the Occupation
Al Khader village is one among many Palestinian villages which were severely affected by the Israeli colonial and expansionist activities. Throughout the years of the Israeli occupation to the Palestinian territory, the village lost 2791 dunums (13.8% of the village’s total area) of its lands for the construction of six illegal Israeli settlements. Furthermore, the Israeli Segregation Wall constitutes another Israeli colonial tool to loot as much lands as possible from Al-Khader village, where it stretches 6.7 km on the lands of the village and cuts most of the village’s agriculture lands and open spaces behind it. When completed, the Segregation Wall will end up isolating 15,144 dunums (75.4%) of the village’s total land area, including the Israeli settlements established on the village’s land and annex them to Israel’s proper.
The Israeli seizing and razing of Palestinian-owned lands and destroying the Palestinian properties is Illegal and constitute a grave breach for the International law rules and conventions, some of which are listed below:
  • Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention indicated that: Extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly. Is a grave breach of the Convention.
  • In addition, the uprooting and the closures are a clear violation of Article 23 of The Hague Convention Art. 23 of the Hague Convention of 1907 also provides: In addition to the prohibitions provided by special Conventions, it is especially forbidden to destroy or seize the enemy’s property, unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.
  • Also Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of, December 10, 1948, Article 17 reads: ‘No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.’ Which means it bans Israel from destroying or confiscating the property of the Palestinians at any case.
The Israeli unilateral colonial procedures that taking place in all over the oPt are Illegal and contradicts with the International law rules and conventions as follows:
  • ‘Article 12’ of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence.
  • Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State.
1 Neve Daniel settlement was established in the year 1982, on Al Khader village land. Today the settlement occupies a total land area of 583 dunums and is home to 1065 Israeli settlers.
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Categories: Agriculture