Ancient olive trees uprooted near Bethlehem

We have heard sad news that beautiful, ancient olive trees were uprooted on Monday 17 August not far from Bethlehem.
 
The damaged olive trees belonged to five Palestinian families from Beit Jala. We have been told that Israeli bulldozers, protected by Israeli soldiers destroyed 100 ancient olive trees on Palestinian owned land west of Bethlehem. It is believed that the land has been cleared for an extension of the separation barrier or possibly extension of the Israeli settlement of Gilo. 
 
Since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Palestinian farmers have lost over 800,000 olive trees. To find out more about the situation, take a look at our Olive Tree Project.
 
The olive tree is a universal symbol of peace, and a powerful symbol of Palestinian rootedness in their land. But in the political turmoil of the Middle East today, trees that have survived hundreds of years have become casualties in the struggle for the control of the land. Olives have been a major source of income to the Palestinians for centuries, with olive trees covering over 50% of agricultural land. The olive oil industry also supports the livelihoods of around 100,000 Palestinian families.
 
If you'd like to show your solidarity and stand against this injustice, here are ways you can help:
 
1. Send a letter to the Israeli ambassador in your country 
2. Send a letter to your MP
4. Share this story  
5. Invite your friends and family members to join in our next olive picking\planting trip