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Anti-fence demonstration in Naalin (archives) Photo: AFP
Anti-fence demonstration in Naalin (archives) Photo: AFP
 
 

IDF to relocate hundreds of trees in Palestinian village

Due to construction of separation fence near Modiin, army and Civil Administration decide to move some 440 olive trees belonging to Naalin residents. Palestinians say decision to badly harm their livelihood

Efrat Weiss
Published: 06.03.08, 21:51 / Israel News

The Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration have decided to relocate some 440 olive trees belonging to Naalin residents to a nearby area, due to the construction of the separation fence in the area.

 

The Palestinians have protested this decision, claiming that it would badly harm their livelihood.

 

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"A tree, particularly an ancient one, will not survive if you move it from one place to another at this time of the year. Thus, we estimate that 90% of the relocated trees will not be able to bear fruit anymore," said Ibrahim Aahad Khawaja, a member of the village's anti-fence committee.

 

The IDF plans to relocate the olive trees under the supervision of a Civil Administration officer, but Naalin's residents do not intend to cooperate with the move, as they reject any act related to the construction of the fence.

 

"They are moving the trees, but what about the land? Our experience with the Israeli occupation is not positive," Khawaja told Ynet, noting that the village residents would fight the decision and hold an anti-fence procession on Wednesday.

 

Security sources told Ynet that the separation fence was being built according to law and that the State was doing all it could to minimize the damage caused to the Palestinian life fabric. The defense establishment is coordinating the entire construction process with the local population, they stated.

 

"There are always those who will not approve of the State's decisions, including Israeli citizens, and will do all in their power to break the law and stop the fence construction," a security official said.

 

"The handling of the olive trees, for example, shows how things could be done differently," the source added. "The proof is that the defense establishment, on all levels, knows how to collect all the trees in a professional manner and move them somewhere else, in a way that will not harm the Palestinian farmers."

 

Ali Waked contributed to this report

 

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