Israeli military forces cut down hundreds of fully grown olive trees in the West Bank village of Iskaka, near the Ariel settlement, on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said.
The action was carried out early Wednesday morning.
An activist for the Rabbis for Human Rights organization who arrived at the scene confirmed that many trees had been cut down, estimating the number at 250.
In fact, approximately 400 trees were uprooted by the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
Rabbis for Human Rights reached out to the Civil Administration — a COGAT unit in charge of civil affairs in the West Bank — where a source said the land in question was state land, and that the forces were acting on a warrant against unlawful trespassing.
“This morning, enforcements were made against a Palestinian resident, who illegally overtook land that he did not own,” COGAT confirmed in a statement on Wednesday evening.
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“An appeals committee convened, which gave the resident the possibility of proving his ownership of the land. And when he could not do so, such enforcements were conducted,” COGAT said.