AT-TUWANI, February 21, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers chopped down Friday 36 olive trees in the south Hebron hills, said Operation Dove, an Italian peace group, in a press release,
The group said that on the morning of February 20, Palestinians in the South Hebron Hills awoke to find that 36 olive trees had been cut or seriously damaged during the night, probably by Israeli settlers.
It added that the 25 year-old trees, owned by Hushiya family from Yatta, were located near the village of Qawawis, in the South Hebron Hills, between the Israeli illegal outpost of Mitzpe Yair and the Israeli settlement of Suseya, beside Bypass road 317.
The group described the incident as the third-of-its-kind “price tag vandalism” committed by settlers against the Palestinian inhabitants of the South Hebron Hills in the last two months.
It added that on January 9, in the same area between the Bypass road 317 and Suseya settlement, Palestinians discovered nearly 200 olive trees cut on their property and that on December 31, two settlers threw a molotov cocktail into a Palestinian house in Ad Deirat village.
Palestinian residents of the South Hebron hills have suffered from the presence of Israeli settlers since the 70s. By occupying Palestinian agricultural lands and destroying Palestinian olive trees, crops and property the settlers seek to deprive the Palestinians of their main livelihood. Ongoing settler violence deprives Palestinian families of security in daily life, and restricts their freedom of movement.
Despite attempts by settlers to force them from the area through violence and intimidation, the Palestinian communities of the South Hebron Hills remain strong in their commitment to nonviolent popular resistance against the Israeli occupation.