Israeli Army Blocks 200 Activists From Planting Trees With Palestinians in West Bank

The IDF demanded to know the exact location where the initiative would take place – and immediately issued a warrant declaring it a closed military area

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
The trees that were to be planted in Yasuf village in the West Bank on Friday, February 14, 2020.
The trees that were to be planted in Yasuf village in the West Bank on Friday, February 14, 2020.Credit: Rabbis for Human Rights
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

The Israeli army prevented 200 Israeli left-wing activists from planting trees alongside Palestinian farmers on the occasion of Tu B'Shevat, a Jewish holiday that celebrates renewal and nature that started this week.

The initiative was launched by "Rabbis for Human Rights" and "Zazim," two human rights organization, and was supposed to take place with the participation of farmers from the Palestinian village of Yasuf, which is located in the northern West Bank.

Israel’s third election is a racist race to replace BibiCredit: Haaretz Weekly Podcast Ep. 61

During the harvest period, some olive trees were vandalized in land plots near the Israeli settlement of Kfar Tapuach, and the Israeli activists wanted to be present when the Palestinian farmers went back and planted trees at the spot.

According to the Israeli activists, Israel Defense Forces soldiers had told them that they were not permitted to go through when they made their way to Yasuf village, although the troops did not have a warrant.

Activists after they received warrants notifying them that they couldn't go where they were planning to, on Friday, February 14, 2020.Credit: Zazim

Louis Frankenthaler, who was on board the last bus that arrived there filled with activists from Jerusalem, told Haaretz that the soldiers had stopped the activists between Kfar Tapuach and Yasuf, and showed them a warrant proclaiming that they arrived at a closed military area. The warrant said that if activists enter the place they would get arrested. Asked why they were shown the warrant, the activists were told that it was clear they "came to disturb the quiet."

Avi Dabush, the executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, said that the police were informed about the event about a week ago. On Thursday night, Dabush said, the army asked him for details on the event, and he provided information about where it was supposed to take place. In the morning, he found out that the very locations he shared with the military were declared closed military areas.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said that the area was closed in order to prevent frictions. According to UN data, there were 47 incidents during the olive harvesting period in the West Bank. Nine were violent actions against Palestinians. About 27 were cases of theft of olives or harvesting equipment and 11 involved trees being destroyed.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage