I live in Turmusaya, I’m a farmer and I also work as a civil engineer for the city council. I own farmland in different areas around the village. I own one plot on the southern side of Turmusaya, which is 700 meters from the new settlement Amichai and one kilometer from the outpost Adei Ad.
The plot is 3 dunams. There are 50 young olive trees I planted about a year ago and 30 almond and fig trees. I don’t need to coordinate before going to my plot.
We in Turmusaya have become accustomed to settler violence since the outpost Adei Ad was built in 1988: harassment, trees cut down and poisoned, physical assault, threats, driving farmers off their plots, etc. They are backed by the army. There’s a military post between our land and Adei Ad, but the army doesn’t do anything to prevent the violence or put an end to it. Violence has gotten worse in the past few months, especially against farmers. In the two months since the olive harvest, there have been five-six incidents of trees cut down. We involved the Israeli DCO, the army and the police. So far, they haven’t done a thing, they haven’t contacted us. The fact that violence is getting worse proves there is no law enforcement.
On Friday December 14 at around 9:30 am I arrived at my plot and discovered it had been razed. All 50 saplings had been cut down with a hand saw. There was a slogan sprayed in red saying “Death to Arabs” on the side of the paved road by the plot.
I called the Israeli DCO and the police and informed them. It was a Friday, and nobody came. In the neighboring plot, scores of young olive saplings had been destroyed and a slogan had been sprayed in red on the side of the road there – “Price Tag”.
The following day, Saturday December 15, when I returned to my plot in the morning, I saw that during the previous 24 hours, two neighboring plots had been invaded. On SR’s plot, 100 olive trees that were five years old had been cut down, and on GN’s plot, 50 olive trees that were ten years old had been cut down. I called the DCO and the police again, and again nobody came.
On Tuesday December 18, I went back to my land again and saw that on AS’s plot 80 large trees that were over 20 years old had been cut down with a power saw. I informed AS. He came to the plot and this time the police and army did arrive, they took photos and took his testimony.
All in all, 300 olive trees were cut down within several days.
I’m asking Yesh Din to contact the authorities and alert them. We can’t continue living like this. I don’t wish to file a complaint to the Israeli police. It’s useless. If they wanted to change anything, they would have taken action.
If it were the opposite, if a Palestinian had destroyed plots owned by a Jew, he would be arrested and punished by law within several hours.