Settler saws off and steals branches of fruit trees in Palestinian’s orchard, 2008

February 2008

The army has fenced off the farmland of Khalifah Da'neh, a Palestinian resident of the Hebron District, attaching it to the lands of the adjacent settlement Givat Haharsinah. On the morning of 5 February 2008, a settler drove his car onto the farmland, stepped out holding an electric saw, and began to cut off branches of fruit trees. Da'neh stood startled on the other side of the fence, unable to do anything about it. The settler put the branches into his car and drove toward the settlement. This was not the first time settlers have entered Da'neh’s land. In this instance, though, he filmed the incident in its entirety. Da'neh handed the video film over to the police, with whom he filed a complaint.

Israel fenced and attached Da'neh’s land to the settlement in 2004, classifying it a “special security zone.” The state promised the High Court of Justice that it would enable Palestinian farmers free entry to their fenced land, and would prohibit settlers from entering. The Da'neh case shows that the reality is just the opposite: absurdly, Israel does not permit entry of Palestinian landowners to “special security zones,” yet enables settlers to enter the land as they wish.