A young tree that has been marked for destruction
The olive tree stands at the heart of the Palestinian national identity. Not only are they omnipresent in any rural landscape, but a well tended tree will live for thousands of years. Every year during the fall olive harvest, millions of Palestinians pick from trees that have provided for their families for generations. The destruction of olive trees is not only damaging to the environment, it is symbolic of uprooting Palestine itself. Currently over 2000 trees in Wadi Qana are currently marked with red and black spray paint - signaling that they are slated to be cut down.
Over 4000 olive trees have been uprooted in Wadi Qana in 2011, including over 1000 uprooted in 2014 alone. While the Israeli militray states that it will only uprooted trees planted since 2012, local farmers attest that uprooted trees, as well as those marked for destruction have been planted no later than 2010.
The olive orchards stand in the way of settlement expansion, and are essential in maintaining the terraced topography of the Wadi Qana valley. Palestinians see the destruction of olive trees as an assault on the very essence of their lives.