Daily Israel Report

Gov’t Orders ‘Expulsion’ of Hundreds of Gush Etzion Trees

New “expulsion” orders: Uproot hundreds of Gush Etzion trees in Netzer, where Women in Green planted them to keep land in Jewish hands.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/18/2012, 8:02 AM

Tree 'expulsion' order at Netzer in Gush Etzion
Tree 'expulsion' order at Netzer in Gush Etzion
Israel news photo: Women in Green

The government has ordered the uprooting of hundreds of trees in Gush Etzion’s Netzer area, where Women in Green planted them to keep the land in Jewish hands.

The nationalist organizations' leaders Yehudit Katsover and Nadia Matar were shocked on Monday to see the military orders, one of which was pasted at a section of trees that was planted in memory of Talia and Yitzchak Ames, who were active in Netzer before Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered them.

Women in Green is hoping they can stop the removal of the trees, as they succeeded last summer through the involvement of several political leaders, including the Gush Etzion Regional Council and the Land of Israel movement.

Katsover and Matar said the orders to uproot the trees were issued despite promises by Women in Green and the regional council not to plant any trees on land where there would be questions concerning ownership rights.

Palestinian Authority Arabs and Women in Green have been involved in a long-term battle over whether the land can remain in Jewish hands or be taken over by Arabs.

Katsover and Matar point their fingers at outgoing Defense Minister Ehud Barak for the latest uprooting orders. “There is no doubt the outgoing Defense Minister is interested in leaving his mark during his last days” before retiring from politics, they said.

“It is clear that the Prime Minister does not need pictures of uprooting of trees at this time,” a month before the elections, they added.

“We only wish officials who order the uprooting of trees would be so efficient in taking action against Arab land grabs, illegal Bedouin building in the south and thefts in the Galilee,” Women in Green stated.