< HOME  Saturday, April 10, 2010

6sraelis don't even spare Palestinian trees

Israeli forces have uprooted thousands of trees in their raids on Palestinian territories to inflict still another blow at the nation's crashing economy.

Palestinian sources accuse the Israeli regime of destroying some 400,000 trees during their incursions into territories under the Palestinian Authority's rule in the last two years.

They describe the damage as a systematic move aimed at mounting financial pressure on Palestinian families, especially those living off their farms and orchards.

Israeli settlers often join the campaign by raiding and burning West Bank olive orchards and gardens, while a separation wall Israel has been constructing across the West Bank furthers the burden posed on the Palestinians.

The structure zigzags 709 kilometers (435 miles) through the West Bank, isolates Palestinian orchards and cuts the locals from hundreds of hectares of their land. This is leading to the total isolation of the Palestinian Plains — the fruit basket of Palestine — in the Jordan valley area.

Water shortage is another dire strait the West Bankers are faced with, as large portions of water resources supplying most of the water consumed in the West Bank remain in Israel's hands.

On Wednesday, Israeli Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau threatened to cut off industrial or agricultural water supplies to Palestinians in the West Bank for Palestinians' refusal to connect to Israeli water treatment plants.

The threat comes as international organizations say Israel's water supplies fall short of Palestinian needs while the Palestinian Authority has failed to provide the region's water sector with decent infrastructure and required institutions.



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