In the shadow of unprovoked confrontation and harassment by the Israeli military, 150 activists with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) came to the West Bank village of Burin in the morning of 12 February 2021 to plant over one hundreds olive trees in groves that had been damaged by settlers this year.
Soldiers violently confronted the volunteers and one of them kicked a human rights defender. Moreover, the soldiers set off two stun grenades to in order to impede with the just and legal activities. In spite of the military’s interference the activists did not desist and they continued to the groves in order to plant more than 100 trees together with villagers. An additional 100 mature saplings were also given to the farmers so that they could plant them. The trees were acquired thanks to a campaign conducted by RHR which raised enough funds for the trees, the activities and to contribute to RHR’s overall olive tree project over the course of the year. RHR thanks the many donors who participated and showed their solidarity with farmers who, as they work their land, must deal with increasing violence, especially in recent months, by settlers and deal with military indifference and even violent interference such as what occurred.
Avi Dabush, RHR’s executive director, who was on the ground and was directly confronted by the soldiers, said, “Unfortunately, today we saw the menacing face of the Occupation. But we stood our ground and stood up for our right to plant hope and peace in a place that experiences too much hardship and violence. Rabbis for Human Rights will continue to stubbornly stand for Jewish moral principles and strive to plant the seeds of peace and Justice!”
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