Kairos USA, June 2014

1500 Trees Destroyed on Palestinian Peace

Farm

In the pre-dawn hours on Monday morning May 19, the Tent of Nations, a peace and education center on a 100-acre farm owned by Palestinian Christians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank came under an unwarranted, illegal and unannounced attack by the Israeli Military. Bulldozers destroyed between 1,500 and 2,000 mature, fruit-bearing apricot and apple trees and grape vines in the lower valley on the farm located about six miles southwest of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. The army also bulldozed the extensive terracing on this parcel of land, dug a pit, and buried the trees under piles of rubble. Extensive reconstruction will be required to make the land again suitable for planting.

The Nassar family has owned the farm, also known as Daher's Vineyard, since the early 1900s., The destroyed orchard had been providing crops for six years. The farm also grows olives, grape vines, almonds and vegetables. Israeli occupation authorities have been trying for decades to confiscate the Nassar land for the expansion of Neve Daniel, an adjacent Jewish settlement. They have been unable to do so because the Nassar family, holding documents proving ownership from Ottoman times, has been contesting the confiscation through the Israeli court system since 1991. The farm has been visited by close to 50,000 international pilgrims since 2006, with 8,000 visiting in 2013 alone.

Please sign this PETITION that will be submitted to U.S. and Israeli government officials.

Visit the Friends of Tent of Nations website for further information on the family's struggle to keep their land. Click here for a downloadable letter to send to Secretary of State John Kerry and your elected representatives. The letter should go to

John Kerry,

U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

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