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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Israeli army bulldozes trees from time of Christ
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 A historic olive grove dating back to the time of Christ has been destroyed by the Israeli army this week. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has issued a fresh appeal for an end to the violence. On Sunday, the Israeli army began flattening a two metre stretch of cultivated land in the village of Abood, near Jeruusalem. They destroyed a number of olive trees that were 2,000 years old. The grove, known as Rumi, was written about in Roman times and was considered an 'agricultural treasure'. Residents of the village, accompanied by their parish priest, tried to stop the occupation army bulldozers from uprooting the precious trees. However, Israeli soldiers pushed them away at gunpoint and seized their identity cards. The head of the Village Council, Mr. Elias Azar, said the Israeli occupation forces have now been continuously razing cultivated land for three days. Normally the army warns residents in advance if an official razing or demolition has been scheduled. Mr Azar said he fears this action has not been officially approved. On 18 May a new illegal Israeli settlement was set up near the fields. Mr Azar says he thinks the setters are planning to take over the newly-cleared land. The Latin Patriarch has written to the Israeli Minister of Defence, Benjamin Ben Eliezer, He said: "The Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers raze land and cut down olive trees in Abood and other Palestinian villages. They ignore the fact that such actions do not serve the efforts to calm the area and respect the existing ceasefire between the Palestinians and Israelis but rather further ignite feelings and present new reasons for anger." He called on Israel to immediately lift its siege of Palestinian towns and cities, stressing that the closure does not serve the efforts of reconciliation between the Palestinian and Israeli Peoples. source: Latin Patriarchate
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