On Tuesday 9.10.12, Palestinian farmers discovered that 82 olive trees had been cut down in the Palestinian village of Krayut. In the village of Farata which is near the outpost of Havat Gilad, Palestinian harvesters came this morning, again after coordinating, only to discover that others had already stealthily harvested their olives. The olives of most of the trees (130 in number) had been stolen. The olive harvest of the thieves was carried out in an aggressive way which harmed the trees. The Palestinian owner of the land intends to make a complaint to the DCO.
These events occurred after tens of warnings and appeals to the army by RHR and other rights’ organizations, and after similar serious incidents had occurred in previous years at the opening of the olive harvesting season. According to the Supreme Court ruling, the army has a duty to protect the Palestinian farmers and their property and their harvest:
“Forces must be assigned to protect the property of the Palestinian inhabitants…(and) to examine the complaints raised by the Palestinian inhabitants and to carry out the investigation as soon as possible. Investigations must be opened immediately whenever information is received about an incident and the army and security forces must carry out tours whose purpose is to discover such actions…the enforcement, the investigation and the prosecution mechanism must be improved. The answers must act independently in order to identify law-breakers, to bring them to trial, and to consider taking steps so that blatant breaking of the law will not be repeated.”
But the Supreme Court’s ruling is not being implemented and so a range of human rights’ organizations, among them Rabbis for Human Rights, approached the comptroller of the Ministry of Security, asking him to issue another report about the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling. With no response. The large-scale theft at the village of Faratais especially infuriating. It is known that this place is prone to trouble and it could be expected that a more serious deployment around the village would have prevented thefts there. The case of Farata proves that it is possible to prevent theft when there is a readiness to also invest in the security of the Palestinians – in2008, aborder police (Magav) unit was deployed in the area and that year theft was prevented.