On Saturday morning activists from SFP and the Tanweer Centre in Nablus planted olive trees in Wadi Qana, Deir Istiya. The area, of particular natural beauty and full of citrus groves, was frequented by illegal settlers as the activists planted the trees. When walking in the groves activists were attacked by three settler youths who attempted to intimidate them into deleting photos. The activists refused. They also witnessed one settler repeatedly ride around on a horse, armed with a hand gun, in a macho attempt at further intimidation.
Two weeks prior the land had been attacked by settlers and the Army who uprooted olive trees. Abu Nasser also showed the activists land where in 2010 where the Army had uprooted several hundred old olive trees and marked others for destruction. The red marks were still visible on the remaining trees.
The land, belonging to the village of Deir Istiya, is deemed inside the boundaries of the illegal settlements of Immanuel, Yaqir, Nofim, Ma’ale Shomron and Qarne Shomron. All built on stolen Deir Istiya land. The richness of the land, evidenced by its abundance of citrus groves and particular beauty means it is a prime target for the settlers. According to OCHA maps the proposed route of the Apartheid Wall will eventually surround the land and cut Deir Istiya farmers, villagers and Palestinians from cultivating and enjoying the area.
SFP is continuing to support farmers and villagers by planting olive trees. Due to the demand and popularity of the campaign we are also going to expand it to plant zatar, a Palestinian herb. We are very grateful to all our donors but we would ask people to please consider continuing to donate. We want to help more villages and return to those villages we have already helped to expand the campaign and reclaim back all the land. Please click here for details on how to donate.