Friday, December 12, 2008

"I was afraid they would destroy our trees"

Eva Bartlett writing from the occupied Gaza Strip, Live from Palestine, 12 December 2008

( Eva Bartlett is a Canadian human rights advocate and freelancer who spent eight months in 2007 living in West Bank communities and four months in Cairo and at the Rafah crossing. She is currently based in Gaza, after the third successful voyage of the Free Gaza Movement to break the siege on Gaza)

"Leila pointed towards a lone tree and small house on a ridge above what appeared to be a vacant lot. "This was a great field," she said, "filled with lime, guava and orange trees. They destroyed them, killed the trees," she explained, referring to Israeli invasions over the years. "A few days after he learned his trees had been destroyed, the man who owned and tended to the trees passed away."

She began to speak of Israel's last large-scale invasion, at the end of February and into the first week of March, which Israel dubbed "Hot Winter." During the invasion Israeli forces killed at least 120 Palestinians, and wounded hundreds more. This was the invasion during which Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai threatened Palestinians in Gaza with a "holocaust" in response to the firing of homemade rockets from the Strip towards Israel........"

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