Village council: Israeli soldiers destroy trees in Al-Walaja

Maan News Agency | Sept 6, 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli soldiers uprooted a number of trees on Monday in the village of Al-Walaja, north of Bethlehem, the official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA reported.

Saleh Khalifa, head of the village council, said that soldiers entered the village Monday morning and cut down olive trees to make way for a section of the separation wall.

Israeli forces also blocked the main entrances to the village, Khalifa added.

He called on rights groups to intervene to prevent the destruction of Palestinian land.

Earlier in September, EU representatives said they were “deeply concerned” by the impact of the Israeli separation wall on the village, saying it “will cut off much of the village’s land,” preventing residents from accessing their property and agricultural land.

Upon completion the wall will completely “encircle” the village, EU representatives said, leaving only a single access road connecting the village to the West Bank.

The separation wall is illegal in all areas built on occupied land, they added.

As well as mounting legal challenges to the route, residents hold regular demonstrations against the impact of the wall.


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