Mifta is The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy.
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) reports "Violence Surrounds West Bank Olive Harvest."
From Mifta...Why are we here?
Date posted: October 17, 2012
By Melkam Lidet for MIFTAH
As Palestinian farmers are busy harvesting their olives, extremist Israeli setters seem to have been busy cutting down and destroying olive trees, stealing olives and harassing Palestinian farmers throughout the West Bank. Settler violence and vandalism is not new to most Palestinians who live close to settlements, but the attack on olives is seen as more than the physical by Palestinians. They see it as an attack on Palestinian identity, an attempt to cut them off from their connection to the land as most Palestinians tend to olive trees that were passed down to them from generations. The UN estimates that 7,500 olive trees were damaged by settlers between January and mid-October 2012. Last year, the cost of destroyed olives to the Palestinian economy had a price tag of $500,000. While most attacks take place even in the presence of Israeli forces, only one of the 162 complaints filed by an Israeli NGO Yesh Din since 2005 have led to indictment of a suspect. [Read the full Viewpoint piece at this link]
Violence Surrounds West Bank Olive Harvest
From CMEP's report: "
According to Rabbis for Human Rights, “Every year at this time Palestinian farmers from a number of villages across the West Bank receive threats to their safety, are denied access to their land or have their olives stolen, their trees poisoned, or even cut down altogether.” Last year, The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September 2011, and 7,500 throughout 2011.
"There were several attacks believed to be carried out by settlers during this first week of the harvest. Human rights groups are monitoring olive groves near Israeli settlements and documenting attacks by settlers. So far, according to B’Tselem:
"Between October 7th and 10th, 2012, with the start of the West Bank's annual olive harvest, B'Tselem has documented five cases of injury to Palestinian farmers and their olive trees in the Ramallah and Nablus regions. In two incidents, settlers attacked farmers picking olives and damaged their yields. In three other cases, olive trees were discovered damaged or with the olives stolen, apparently by settlers."
[Read the full CMEP report with lots more links.]
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