Israel said Monday it has ordered Palestinian villagers to uproot 1,000 olive trees planted in an area of the West Bank under Israeli control and declared a nature reserve.
Israel’s Civil Administration, the military body that governs areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control, confirmed the issue of the order, which was first reported by Israeli daily Haaretz on Monday.
“These are trees that were planted in a nature reserve without coordination with the official for the area, as is required by law,” the body said in a statement to AFP.
“The owners have the opportunity to present their objections and arguments to officials from the civil administration,” it added.
The trees in question are in the Nahal Kana reserve, an area west of the city of Nablus in the northern West Bank, which Haaretz said includes large tracts of privately owned Palestinian land.
Farmers there told the newspaper that the order violates their rights to the land, and said they would challenge it in court.
Haaretz said the Civil Administration uprooted hundreds of Palestinian trees in the same nature reserve last year.