Israeli military bulldozers today uprooted scores of perennial olive trees from farmlands belonging to Husan village, west of Bethlehem city, according to a municipal source.
Head of Husan Village Council, Mohammad Sabatin, confirmed that Israeli forces uprooted scores of olive trees from Khirbet Hammuda, an olive grove located to the west of the village, leveled the three-donum grove, and tore down a shack and retaining walls.
The grove owner was identified as Adel Shusha.
The grove was leveled purportedly for being located “under Israeli sovereignty”, where Palestinian farmers are banned access.
Israel demolishes Palestinian houses and structures almost on a daily basis as a means to achieve “demographic control” of the occupied territories.
Israel denies planning permits for Palestinians to build on their own land or to extend existing houses to accommodate natural growth, particularly in Jerusalem and Area C, which constitutes 60 percent of the occupied West Bank and falls under full Israeli military rule, forcing residents to build without obtaining rarely-granted permits to provide shelters for their families.
In contrast, Israel argues that building within existing colonial settlements is necessary to accommodate the “natural growth” of settlers. Therefore, it much more easily gives the estimated 550,000 Jewish Israeli settlers there building permits and provides them with roads, electricity, water and sewage systems that remain inaccessible to many neighboring Palestinians.
The “Civil Administration” is the name Israel gives to the body administering its military occupation of the West Bank.
Soldiers in the oxymoronically named Civil Administration determine where Palestinians may live, where and when they may travel (including to other parts of the occupied territories like Gaza and East Jerusalem), whether they can build or expand homes on their own land, whether they own that land at all, whether an Israeli settler can takeover that land among others.