Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights reports on witnessing the army uproot olive trees in Beit Jala, calling for supporters to demonstrate with the farmers and help plant new trees, and then moving on to Jerusalem to demonstrate against Ezra Nawi’s conviction order and to be present at court proceedings for the appeal of that conviction:
I am returning now from Beit Jala, where yesterday the army started cutting down/uprooting olive trees on both sides of the tunnel road, apparently for the extention of the Separation Barrier. It is hard to describe the stumps of ancient trees screaming to the heavens, or what is happening to the garden of one family, that will have the Barrier come within a meter of their house. The army eventually declared the area a closed military area to expell us. If there will not be a stop work order from the Court today, the farmers will want to continue to demonstrate tomorrow and in the coming days. Please call the office, 02-6482757, if you are interested. You can call me as well, 050-5607034. Although it is rather late, the farmers in the area also want to plant some additional trees, not along the route of the Barrier. That may also happen in the coming days.
Hopefully I will see you at Ezra Nawi’s appeal of his conviction order
at the Jerusalem District Court: Demonstration at noon and appeal at 12:30.
Unfortunately the court decided to continue the incarceration of Bedouin activist Nuri El-Ukbi until the end of the proceedings against him for trying to live on his family’s lands, after he refused to accept house arrest.