It has stood in this spot near Bethlehem longer than Christianity and Islam, since before the time of the prophets of the Holy Land.
Circling slowly round this ancient olive tree, Salah Abu Ali carefully inspects every inch of it, before settling back on his chair in its shade.
Beside him, balanced on a log, is a plate of fruit he has freshly picked from his farm. Also within arms reach is a large bottle of water and the pot of hot coffee he prepares every day to offer visitors to the spot that has become his sanctuary.
Every morning at 6.30am, the 46-year-old walks to the site where the tree is located on his family’s plot of land. For the past ten years, he has been tasked with a grave responsibility: guarding the oldest and largest olive tree in Palestine.
The tree, which belongs to the Abu Ali family, lies in the Wadi Jwaiza neighbourhood of Al-Walaja village in Bethlehem, southwest of occupied Jerusalem.
Despite spending most of his time by the olive tree, Abu Ali says he is still awed by it.
“The beauty and size of this tree are really special, it captivates the mind – it is the most beautiful tree in Palestine,” he tells Middle East Eye.
Read the rest and see the pics here: https://www.globalresearch.ca/olive-tree-bethlehem-stood-5000-years-man-defending-it/5694877