Israeli forces destroy 1,500 fruit trees near Bethlehem

Mobile phone images show the Tent of Nations before and after it was attacked by Israeli forces (Facebook).

Israeli forces destroyed an estimated 1,500 fruit trees belonging to the Tent of Nations farm outside Nahalin village, in the Bethlehem region of the occupied West Bank yesterday morning.

Owned by the Nassar family, the farm lies just below Neve Daniel, an Israeli settlement, located in the Gush Etzion bloc. The property has long been targeted by Israeli occupation authorities seeking to confiscate the land and remove an obstacle to settlement expansion.

According to the family, soldiers arrived at their land early in the morning, and in a couple of hours uprooted some 1,500 apricot and apple trees, burying them under piles of soil. “This is going to make it very difficult for us to recover and rehabilitate the land,” Daoud Nassar, a member of the family, told me. Photographs are available on the project’s Facebook page.

The family was preparing for harvest, with international volunteers set to come in June to help with picking the apricots and apples. Daoud said that they have been harvesting the trees for a number of years now, using them, among other things, for jam-making.

Two weeks ago, the Israeli military issued the Nassars an order to stop cultivation. The family responded to the order through their lawyer. Yet before the legal process could run its course, “they came and smashed everything,” Daoud added.

“We are very frustrated. This is not the way it’s supposed to be. Why destroy a tree? Why destroy a tree that will give fruits very soon? Why destroy the land?”

Daoud Nassar urged international supporters to wait for updates about how best to respond to the latest developments, as the family plan their next move.





My son and I visited The Tent of Nations in 2011-a peaceful and legal farm...their road was bulldozed by the occupation forces


Any one from Israel please can you explain what the point of all this is? Why the shootings the bulldozing the endless destruction and occupation. What is your end game?


I do not understand what's so strange that USA machinery is used to oppress people. They do and did it, also directly, on behalf of USA, in many parts of the world.


Yes-- made in the US; yes-- by Caterpillar; yes--most converted from regular to militarized bulldozers. See website "Who Profits". Caterpillar is high on the list of American corporations for which boycotting and divestment are being sought by the BDS movement.


Yes-- most bulldozzers used to destroy lives and property in the West Bank are made by Caterpillar; yes-- most of these bulldozers have been made to serve as weapons ("militarized"); yes-- Caterpillar is one of the top world corporations on the BDS' list for divestment. See the website "Who Profits" for other corporations complicit in the Israeli plan to acquire ALL of the Palestinian land for Israel.


My personal firewall blocks facebook. When the family stops asking people to wait, will updates be posted here?

Ben White

Ben White's picture

Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/Israel. His articles have been widely published in the likes of The Guardian‘s Comment is free, Al Jazeera, Electronic Intifada, New Statesman, and many others. He is the author of ‘Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide’ (2009, Pluto Press) and ‘Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination & Democracy’ (2012, Pluto Press). Ben is a researcher/writer for the Journal of Palestine Studies.