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Settlers from Acion Destroy Roof on Farmer's House: Mourning trees

07:00 May 17 2011 Artas, near Acion Settlement

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From: Khalil Team cptheb@cpt.org
June 3, 2011


On May 17, settlers near Acion Settlement destroyed the roof over two rooms of Mohammed Saleh Abu Swai's home. Mohammed is a farmer who primarily cultivates olive trees. Just two days before this destruction he had come to see and fertilize his trees.

Artas, a nearby Palestinian village where Mohammed usually stays, has 316 residents. Like Mohammed, most of the people live in the village with their family during the school year and in the summer go out to work the land. Mohammed's family of eleven often stays in his small home located in the middle of the field near Acion. Before this latest destruction of the roofs, the military had confiscated much of Mohammed's land, declaring it state land.

Awad, a neighbor to Mohammed in Artas, said that Palestine's Ministry of Agriculture has virtually no finances to work with. While 95% of the Palestinians are connected to farming, at least 38% of Palestine's budget goes for security. Awad tries to spend his time helping farmers who get very little assistance with their crops. While sitting under the fig tree and entering into conversation with Awad, he spoke of the "feelings" of even the trees who have to suffer from the Occupation– not having enough water.

"Honestly, I talk to the trees," he said. "This tree is very sad." Perhaps the trees mourn with their Palestinian owners who continue to love and work their land, despite all the adverse circumstances they encounter.

Pictures of the destruction below:
http://cpt.org/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=23347
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