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article imageIsrael orders removal of 1,000 olive trees from Palestine

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By Graeme McNaughton     May 3, 2012 in Politics
Nablus - The olive branch may be a symbol of peace, but Israeli authorities in the West Bank have told Palestinians that one thousand trees must be uprooted.
The trees were planted in an area near Nablus, in the northern West Bank, that Israel's Civil Administration had designated a nature reserve.
In a statement to the Agence France-Presse, the Israeli Civil Administration said:
"These are trees that were planted in a nature reserve without coordination with the official for the area, as is required by law...the owners have the opportunity to present their objections and arguments to officials from the civil administration."
A similar order was given to farmers in Deir Istiya, in Wadi Qana last week. The village is a major centre of olive production in the West Bank.
Most of the trees in Deir Istiya are planted on private land.
In a statement released on April 25, the International Women's Peace Service said:
"On April 25, 2012 nine farmers of Deir Istiya, Salfit were given orders to uproot 1400 olive trees in the Wadi Qana agricultural area by May 1, 2012. This is the largest order for uprooting trees that the farmers of Wadi Qana have ever been given. Most of the trees were planted approximately 5 years ago on privately owned Palestinian property. The orders, placed on retaining terraces, rocks and fences in the vicinity of the trees, state that if the farmers do not uproot their trees they will face punishment which could, according to Deir Istiya mayor Nazmi Salman include large fines and imprisonment."
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