A new report by Haaretz has revealed that the Israeli occupation used a toxic chemical to destroy the crops of Palestinian farmers in the West Bank in order to dispossess them of their land and make way for a Jewish settlement in the 1970s.
The report, based on newly declassified documents, shows that the Israeli occupation army, the Jewish Agency and the Custodian of Absentee Property collaborated in a plan to spray a lethal substance on the fields of Aqraba, a Palestinian village near Nablus, using a crop duster plane.
The documents show that the spraying was part of a larger scheme to confiscate 83% of Aqraba’s lands under the pretext of declaring them a military training zone. The ultimate goal was to establish Gitit, an illegal settlement that still exists today.
The report exposes the role of Golda Meir’s government in orchestrating the poisoning operation, which took place between 1972 and 1974. Meir was the Israeli prime minister at the time and is often portrayed as a moderate leader who sought peace with the Palestinians.
The poisoning had devastating effects on the Palestinian farmers and their animals, who suffered from stomach poisoning and other health problems. Some of them were forced to leave their land and became refugees.
The report also sheds light on the systematic nature of the Israeli policies and practices of forcible displacement and dispossession of Palestinians throughout its history, which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity under international law.
The report has sparked outrage among Palestinian activists and human rights groups, who have called for accountability and justice for the victims of the Israeli colonial-apartheid regime.