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Israel destroys agricultural lands near Salfit

Feb. 24, 2011 1:32 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 24, 2011 10:23 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli bulldozers tore up recently cultivated agricultural lands north of Salfit on Thursday morning, mayor of the nearby Deir Istiya village told Ma'an.

Starting a few hours after sunrise, Mayor Nathmi Suleiman said, the bulldozers entered the village, accompanied by Israeli forces, and began destroying a stone fence separating fields in the Qattan Al-Jame area west of the village.

During its work, the bulldozer ripped out several olive trees, and obliterated the half-meter high hand-crafted stone wall.

Suleiman said the lands affected were owned by Muhammad Abdul Rahman Zeidan from the village, and had been rehabilitated through financial assistance from the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Fund.

The rebuilding of the stone wall, seed planting and tilling had been carried out by volunteers and family members, with a total cost of 20,000 shekels ($5,465).

A spokesman for Israel's Civil Administration did not answer phone calls seeking comment. The Civil Administration is a department set up by the Israeli government to administer and preside over Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank designated as "Area C."
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