Ramallah/PNN/By: Madeeha Araj,
The National Bureau for Defending Land and Resisting Settlements said in his latest weekly report , that the Olive Harvest Season in Palestine is an annual major event being a Palestinian National one, titled “love the land and connect to it.” Worth mentioning that more than 10,000,000 olive trees are planted on 86,000 donums i.e. 47% of the total cultivated land in the West Bank. Although, the Palestinian farmers’ suffering continue due to settlers, Israeli occupation forces and other Israeli official apparatuses’ harrassment, while picking their olives in the West Bank. It should be pointed out that the olive for the Palestinians is a vital source for their livelihood and income as 100,000 families depend on it, as its annual production of olive and its derivatives is about US $ 200,000,000.
Moreover, the presence of settlements prevents Palestinians from easily reaching their lands to cultivate their crops. Some 90 Palestinian communities have land among or around the boundaries of 56 settlements and outposts. Many farmers can access their land only through prior coordination with the Israeli Occupation Authorities, they have to crossing through gates and/or army checkpoints, in addition to the separation wall that separates Palestinian communities from their land, where 30% of trees Olive lies behind it. The annual losses of the Palestinian economy was estimated at US $ 30-40,000,000.
In spite of the prospect of god production of olive oil production this year, the army and settler herds’ attack on olive trees will minimize it as they began earlier this year uprooting about 1,090 olive trees. A total of 5,582 trees were affected in 2017, compared to 1,652 trees in 2016, while around 9,200 olive trees were damaged in various West Bank governorates in 2018.
According to the report of the National Bureau’s report on Nablus, Qalqilia, Salfeet and Ramallah’s rural areas, settlers have stolen olive fruits in the lands of Deir- Sharaf, Burin, Til and Surra villages near Nablus, causing the injury of Issa Hamed Ramadan, setting fire to 70 olive fields in the lands between the towns of Burin and Huwara. Moreove, they injured Saiel Darwish in the head while working in his agricultural fields in Barqa village in Ramallah, trying to prevent him from harvesting olives in the village. Furthermore, tey attacked farmers in the Kafr Qadom village, east of Qalqilia, expelled them from their lands adjacent to the settlement of Kedumim. Israeli bulldozers settled 4 donums of agricultural land in the village of Farkha, southwest of Salfit, uprooting 210 grapes and almonds. Israeli soldiers also detained farmers in Nabi Elias village east of Qalqilia while harvesting olives in their land adjacent to the new bypass road. Settlers attack citizens and their vehicles with stones near the town of Jinsafot between Qalqilya and Nablus.
On the other hand, the Israeli High Court held a deliberation session on 2 petitions, submitted by the Israeli rights organization, “Yesh Din” on behalf of the Palestinian land owners from the villages of Mughaier, Turmos’aia, Jalud and Qariot after the settlers in the “Adi Aad outpost” confiscated and built on their land a few days ago, it is the same outpost that was evacuated last year, where settles shot villagers, killing one of his sons.
Within the ongoing settlement plans, the Israeli Occupation Authorities approved a plan to build 182 new housing units in the Jordan Valley. They approximately settled 30 donums of Palestinian land near Kharsina settlement in order to establish a new outpost near Al-Baqa’a area east of Hebron. They also removed a number of electric columns, cut of the electricity, attempting to compel them leave the area. Two months ago, the Israeli occupation forces built a settlement road in this land to connect it with the nearby settlements adjacent to the bypass road n 60.
In a dangerous development, it was disclosed that the terrorist involved in the killing of members of the Dawabshe family in the Doma village will be recruited in the Israeli Occupation Army as part of the state’s embrace of terrorists, who kill Palestinians in cold-blood.