TUBAS: Palestinians replanted hundreds of trees in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, a day after Israel’s army uprooted thousands of trees in the area, saying they had been illegally planted in a military zone.

Carrying spades and pickaxes, dozens of Palestinian activists and staff from the Palestinian agriculture ministry worked to plant seedlings in a valley near Khirbeit Einoun, in Tubas governorate.

An estimated 500 trees were planted on Thursday and the operation is expected to continue for several days, agriculture ministry official Jaafar Salahat told the official Wafa news agency.

Palestinian activist Moataz Bisharat, who works to oppose Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, said the army had destroyed about 10,000 trees, including hundreds of olive trees, on Wednesday “on the grounds that the area is a restricted military zone”.

The Israeli military branch responsible for civilian affairs in the West Bank (COGAT) said it had “carried out an enforcement activity to evacuate an illegal agricultural invasion in a fire zone”.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2021

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