Uprooting and Damaging Olive Trees, Palestine

Israeli settlers continue to burn olive trees on Palestinian lands affecting Palestinian farmers' livelihoods and driving them out of their land.


On October 22, 2014, a group of Jewish settlers set fire to around 100 olive trees owned by Palestinan farmers in the town of Huwara. The mayor of the town claimed that Israeli occupation forces prevented the citizens from accessing their land to extinguish the fire. [3][4]

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Basic Data
NameUprooting and Damaging Olive Trees, Palestine
Province Nablus Governorate
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific CommoditiesOlive Trees
Fruits and Vegetables
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAccording to the Middle East Monitor, 15% of the 89 reported cases of settler violence against Palestinians between January and June 2017 comes in the form of uprooting or damaging trees. [1]

According to Visualizing Palestine, as of October 2013, more than 800,000 trees were uprooted, with $12.3 million lost each year by the 80,000 families depending on olive harvest. [2]
Level of Investment (in USD)12,300,000 lost each year
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population80,000 families
Start Date1967
Relevant government actorsPalestinian Authority

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories - Israeli Governing Body
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersYesh Din: https://www.yesh-din.org/en/

Women for Palestine: http://australiansforpalestine.com
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginUNKNOWN
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationLawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Public campaigns
Boycotts of companies-products
Tree Planting
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCriminalization of activists
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesThe main proposal brought forward is that settlers should stop their policy of illegal land grabbing through the burning and uprooting of olive and fruit trees in Palestinian-owned land.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Israeli settlers and the Israeli Defense Forces are still uprooting and destroying trees from Palestinian lands with impunity.
Sources and Materials

[7] - The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction

Edited by William A. Cook


[6] - Palestinian Olive Trees: Destroying a Symbol of Life - CounterPunch
[click to view]

[3] - Jewish settlers torch Palestinian olive grove in W. Bank - World Bulletin
[click to view]

[4] - Palestine: Jewish Settlers Torch 100 of World's Oldest Olive Trees - International Business Times
[click to view]

[5] - Israel accused of 'war crime' over bulldozing of Palestinian olive groves - The Independent
[click to view]

[8] - Palestinian farmer shot dead by Israeli settler - AlJazeera
[click to view]

Media Links

[9] - The Million Trees Campaign (MTC)
[click to view]

Other Documents

[1] - Settler Violence Against Palestinians - Middle East Monitor (MEMO) MEMO Infographic by The White Canvas
[click to view]

[2] - Uprooted. - October 2013 Infographic by VisualizingPalestine
[click to view]

The uprooting of olive trees has devastating implications for Palestinian farmers [Getty] https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/features/2015/6/28/israel-is-uprooting-west-banks-future
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorChristophe Maroun - [email protected]
Last update03/04/2019