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500 trees cut in Marda, upcoming demonstration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 2005

500 trees cut in Marda, upcoming demonstration

500 trees have been cut in Marda, 20 km from the Green Line, making villagers even more determined to demonstrate on Saturday against the Wall and settlement expansion in the area. Meet at 10 am, Saturday June 4, in the center of Marda, to march to Kifl Hares along the main settler highway, parallel to the proposed path of the Wall.

On Wednesday and Thursday, June 1 and 2, Israeli workers, protected by soldiers and Ariel settlement security, cut approximately 500 trees in the southeast of Marda village. When approached by villagers, Israeli activists, and internationals around 3:30 pm on Thursday, the workers left. Trees were found with red paint and ribbons, presumably marking the path of the Annexation Wall that Israel intends to build around Ariel, on the land of Marda, Kifl Hares, Hares, Iskaka, and Salfit. The trees are still alive - although this year’s crop is ruined - but villagers suspect that bulldozers will come soon to uproot them and begin to clear the path for the Wall.

The trees that were cut belong to at least 6 different families, none of whom were notified in advance. Some of the trees are 150 meters from the current fence around Ariel, whereas others are up to 500 meters from Ariel. Villagers estimate the number of trees between the Wall path and Ariel to be in the tens of thousands.

This is the first time the Wall work has reached Marda.

ENDS

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