Widow's trees threaten Israeli security

Israel's Supreme Court has sanctioned the uprooting of a Palestinian woman's citrus grove on the grounds that it impedes security for Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz's home.

    Israel will clear a grove close to Defence Minister Mofaz's home

    Mofaz lives in Kochav Yair, an upscale town on the Israeli side of the "Green Line" with the West Bank. Zuhriyya Hasan Murshid, 72, has orange, tangerine and lemon trees just 25m from the minister's property.

    After the military issued an order in September to uproot the trees for security reasons, Murshid filed an appeal with the high court.

    At the time, she said: "Why does Mofaz build his house near my land, and then decide to take away my land? If he doesn't like it, he can move."

    Court ruling

    On Wednesday, the court upheld the state's contention that the trees are a security problem and should be removed.

    "Why does Mofaz build his house near my land, and then decide to take away my land? If he doesn't like it, he can move"

    Zuhriyya Hasan Murshid, 72

    The trees "provide a hiding place for would-be attackers who can use them to carry out attacks", said the ruling.
      
    Distraught, the elderly Palestinian widow complained that even now, she can't get to her trees because of Israel's separation wall, which cuts into the West Bank on the other side of the grove.
      
    "I don't have anything except my trees," she said, adding that because of the barrier, "I live on the charity of others".
     
    Israel says it is building the wall to keep bombers and other attackers out, but Palestinians complain that many people have been cut off from their farmlands and services.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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