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‘Today at 0800, Israeli bulldozers came to the fertile valley where we planted fruit trees–‘

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Valkley before and after destruction of trees, from Daoud Nassar

Valley before and after destruction of trees, from Daoud Nassar

A shocking story. Israeli authorities have uprooted 1500 apple and apricot trees on a renowned Palestinian farm near Bethlehem weeks ahead of harvest; and the case is drawing global attention on social media.

Landowner Daoud Nassar of the Tent of Nations writes on Facebook of the atrocity:

“Today at 08.00, Israeli bulldozers came to the fertile valley of the farm where we planted fruit trees 10 years ago, and destroyed the terraces and all our trees there. More than 1500 apricot and apple trees as well as grape plants were smashed and destroyed.”

Later, as international outrage resonates, this message:

Dear Friends of Tent of Nations,
Very soon we will be asking you to take actions, please be prepared.
Thank you for all your emails, your phone calls and your concerns.

Ben White has posted an account of the destruction at Electronic Intifada:

Israeli forces destroyed an estimated 1,500 fruit trees belonging to the Tent of Nations farm outside Nahalin village, in the Bethlehem region of the occupied West Bank yesterday morning.

Owned by the Nassar family, the farm lies just below Neve Daniel, an Israeli settlement, located in the Gush Etzion bloc. The property has long been targeted by Israeli occupation authorities seeking to confiscate the land and remove an obstacle to settlement expansion.

According to the family, soldiers arrived at their land early in the morning, and in a couple of hours uprooted some 1,500 apricot and apple trees, burying them under piles of soil.

Lynn Gottlieb writes:

Daoud, this news has spread throughout many many circles of concern and people are ready to raise funds for trees and lawyers, come over and help plant, and share what happened in a broad way. We are deeply troubled and shed tears with you for this senseless loss.

Aharon Varady: “What a mockery of the Torah.”

From Gary Spedding’s photos, you can see the broken trees:

Tree destruction photographed by Gary Spedding

Tree destruction photographed by Gary Spedding

Here is Ben White’s earlier visit to Tent of Nations describing the demolition orders that the property is under.

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16 Responses

  1. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka on May 20, 2014, 12:59 pm

    These Zionists are not only enemies of humanity, but of the very earth itself. What kind of low-life scum destroys the literal fruit of the soil?? Settlers are like a plague.

  2. Kay24
    Kay24 on May 20, 2014, 1:20 pm

    This is inhumane and sadistic behavior. Recently they murdered two innocent kids, lied until the video showed up, and now destroy orchards, depriving an already helpless people, of a decent livelihood. Perhaps they might prefer these poor farmers lay down their farming equipment, and send rockets instead of trying to make a living. It is such a shame that all their hard work, and taking care of these trees, for years, have resulted in evil destroying their hopes and dreams. The zionist government of Israel are the nazis of our time.

  3. Krauss
    Krauss on May 20, 2014, 1:47 pm

    I’m sure Jodi Rudoren and her friends at the NYT are paying attention. And I’m also sure that they don’t give a shit about this kind of colonization.

    After all, they’re Zionists. They support this.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on May 20, 2014, 2:55 pm

      Israel right or wrong, mostly wrong. The article about the two Palestinians kids who were brutally murdered, on Haaretz, has resulted in hasbaracuda’s busy this morning, calling the video tape “doctored” (they have temporary memory loss, and seems to forget how the IDF doctored audio tapes during the flotilla attack), and defending this murder. Whether it is a paid agent like Rudoran, or brainwashed college kids, they all seem to believe they are defending the fake victim, Israel.

  4. on May 20, 2014, 2:31 pm

    When I read about this sort of vindictive, evil behavior I am just speechless. The US government should shoulder a lot of the blame for these activities of the Israeli Army. The reason is that the majority of US politicians support the Israelis and embolden them, so that these politicians can receive financial contributions from US Jews who also apparently support such activities. The IDF are not just defending Israel but they are also relentless thugs and thieves.

    • Kay24
      Kay24 on May 20, 2014, 6:23 pm

      You are right, the US is primarily to be blamed for this out of control monster. The aid, weapons and unwavering support for this arrogant alien nation, that continuously violates human rights, and commit sadistic crimes against these poor people, would have been reined it, had the aid stopped, and our shameless Congress stopped passing pro Israeli bills.

      • David Doppler
        David Doppler on May 20, 2014, 7:34 pm

        It’s not the government that is to blame. “We have seen the enemy and he is us.” – Pogo. “A people deserve the government they have.” [I don’t remember who said that.]

        It’s our fault for looking the other way, for not doing anything in response to prior injustices. I guess it’s time to take BDS seriously. Let the Israelis suffer the consequences of tolerating and defending this bias and ethnic cleansing.

  5. amigo
    amigo on May 20, 2014, 2:51 pm

    Gee, where is Mehane .I thought he might like to suggest this is more Pallywood.


    I thought you are an honest journalist and wouldn’t bring this classic Pallywood.” Mehane

    This creep should be banned .

  6. adele
    adele on May 20, 2014, 4:06 pm

    Environmental Crimes, plain and simple. Am assuming that this is so an illegal settlement can be expanded onto stolen land that is militarily confiscated. Where are all the Liberal Zionists who bemoan the fact that the Palestinians are not “developing”, are so “backward”? Why aren’t they pointing their righteous fingers at their beloved Israel asking it why they destroy people’s livelihoods?

    MW did a report back in March about an Italian citizen who was planning on spending a month at the Tent of Nations as a volunteer, but upon arrival at Ben Gurion was barred from entering ( Anything Israel can do to keep Palestinians downtrodden and closed off. It is heartbreaking to see, I can only imagine how the people who planted and cared for this orchard must be feeling. All the fruits of their labor are vulnerable to the IDF’s aggression, whether it be their beloved children or their nurtured trees.

  7. Erasmus
    Erasmus on May 20, 2014, 4:17 pm

    What is there to say?


  8. just
    just on May 20, 2014, 5:29 pm

    “Aharon Varady: “What a mockery of the Torah.””

    I assume he’s referring to the prohibition against destroying fruit trees…….but they’ve been destroying Palestinian olive trees forever as well.

    This is wanton, malicious violence and destruction, of course. de rigueur.

    I heard that the Pope will visit Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and the Palestinian Territories. Hope he gets to visit the orchard.

  9. ritzl
    ritzl on May 20, 2014, 5:59 pm

    From Ben White’s article in the last para, these trees were slated for demolition because of lack of a “zoning plan” covering them. That is Israel “zoned” this area as settlement land by default/inaction. If inaction (coupled with the unstated yet omnipotent assumption that this is Israeli land) has the effect of zoning law, that would mean that the mythical Areas B and C have been annexed and ethnic cleansing is now the operative policy. De jure. Done.

    And White quotes a 2009 Amira Hass story where “Report: So far this year Israel has demolished 180 Palestinian structures, resulting in 319 Palestinians losing their homes.”

    Ah the good old days when Palestinians tossed into the street every year only numbered in the low hundreds. #bittersarcasm

  10. Citizen
    Citizen on May 21, 2014, 4:30 am

    America is responsible for this waste of hard work and fruit of the worked land. We fund it and immunize it diplomatically.

  11. iResistDe4iAm
    iResistDe4iAm on May 21, 2014, 7:49 am

    Israel turns Palestinian bloom into desert,
    then steals the land for Jewish settlements,
    then claims to make the desert bloom.

  12. Frankie P
    Frankie P on May 21, 2014, 9:35 am

    Er, you guys are only telling one side of the story. Those apricot trees threw pits at settlers passing by; we had to destroy them. Those pits really hurt; they can send a full-grown IDF coward to the hospital with a concussion if there’s a direct hit. The apple trees had also taught their seedlings jew-hatred and we just couldn’t let them grow up to be suicide apple pies. Really, you shouldn’t post things like this without some kind of balance to the story…

    Frankie P

  13. seafoid
    seafoid on May 21, 2014, 9:57 am

    “Military training in live-fire zones in the West Bank is used as a way of reducing the number of Palestinians living nearby, and serves as an important part of the campaign against Palestinian illegal construction, an army officer revealed at a recent Knesset committee meeting.

    Col. Einav Shalev, operations officer of Central Command, was addressing a subcommittee of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which discussed “illegal Palestinian construction in Area C” of the West Bank, and ways of expelling Palestinian residents from areas such as E1, the Jordan Valley and Susya, south of Hebron. “

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