After demolishing Palestinian's home, Israel bulldozes his orchard

Agence France Press

Agence France Press have repported on 10 Sep 98 about the destruction of corps panted by Palestinians.

"They destroyed my house because they said I didn't have a permit to build it, but what permit do I need to cultivate my own land," Jaber shouted as an army bulldozer tore through the orchard.

Housing demolitions and the destruction of crops are among the most controversial and emotionally charged measures taken by the Israeli army in the occupied territories.

Peter Lerner, spokesman for Israel's military administration in the West Bank, said Jaber's orchard of olive, fig, almond and apple trees was uprooted because it had been illegally planted on "state-owned land."

Lerner acknowledged that the orchard was not new and could not explain why the army destroyed the crops now.

Palestinians complain that the military rarely grants them permission to build new houses or expand existing homes in the areas of the West Bank still under full Israeli control.

Israel has declared wide swathes of the territory "state-owned land" when families cannot provide deeds proving the land is theirs, even if they have cultivated the plots for generations.