Field Reports, Occupied Territories

Last Week in the Field: A Partial Report from the Olive Harvest

0 Comments 29 October 2017

Every year Rabbis for Human Rights works with Palestinian farmers to ensure they are able to complete their olive harvest free from violence and intimidation by Jewish extremists and unfair restrictions from the Israeli army. See below for a quick summary of olive harvested-related issues and successes from last week (October 22-28 2017). Additionally, see here to read about the scourge of theft that marred the opening weeks of the harvest.

Wednesday October 25:  Palestinian farmers from the village of Jinsafut were detained for about 4.5 hours before being permitted to enter their land to harvest olives. This despite the fact that the harvest had previously been coordinated with the Israeli army, and these farmers worked the same lands the day prior without any problems. Due to the presence of the Karnei Shomron settlement, built next to the agricultural lands, the farmers are subject to restrictions on when they are permitted to enter their lands. Although the army has a duty to maintain security, it must also make every effort to minimize harm to the local Palestinian residents.

Thursday October 26: Extremist Israelis who came from the illegal Nahalat Yosef outpost near the Elon Moreh settlement attacked Palestinian farmers from the village of Deir Al Hatab as they harvested olives in their groves. The attackers directly approached the harvesters and physically assaulted some. One farmer was lightly injured in the mouth.

 Tuesday October 24: Only two days before that, farmers from Deir Al Hatab discovered that – despite previous warnings – sewage run-off from the Elon Moreh settlement had seeped into agriculture lands and olives groves resulting in the death of trees and damage to other agriculture.
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Olive tree killed by sewage run-off from Elon Moreh settlement

Friday October 27: According to reports, approximately fifty four-year-old olive trees were discovered uprooted from a Palestinian grove next to the illegal Avigayil outpost on Friday October 27. It was also reported that settlers from Havat Ma’on threw stones at harvesters in the Humra -Tuwani valley in the late morning.   In addition, soldiers prevented olive harvesters from harvesting their lands near the Yatir checkpoint.

Saturday October 28: In an important achievement,  Palestinian farmers successfully entered olive groves at the entrance to the Itamar settlement which they had not been permitted entry to since 1995. Zakaria Sedda, the director of RHR human rights work in the West Bank, who is also a Palestinian resident of the area, coordinated the entry of the farmers with the army.

Sunday October 29:  Farmers from the Palestinian village of Sinjil discovered that olives from around 130 trees belonging to them were stolen from a grove near the Ma’aleh Levona settlement. A complaint was filed with the police.

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