A Palestinian family said 120 olive trees in their grove were cut down in the southern Hebron Hills, the 20th such report in a year. The Palestinians have traditionally blamed Israelis for the damage, accusing them of destroying the trees. But, as Israel Today reported in its January 2006, a closer look shows that the trunk of the trees are intact, and that only the top branches are cut off – a method of called pruning. “Why would vandals bother sawing off each individual branch? Wouldn't they just cut down the trunk?” asked Aviad Visuly, of the Haifa-based Land of Israel Task Force. A Jewish National Fund expert had concluded that no permanent damage was done to the trees, and that the trees were not cut down, but pruned. Police have questioned the grove owners from last week’s report, photographed the trees and took a sample of one of the branches that had been cut off.
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