Israel blocks road in West Bank villages, obstructing olive harvesting

Days of Palestine – Jenin – Israeli military occupation on Monday blocked several agricultural roads in villages of Zububa and Ti’inik, to the west of the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin, obstructing movement of farmers and the olive harvest season, said a local official.

Nidal al-Ahmad, head of the Rummana village council, told the official WAFA news agency that the Israeli army started this morning blocking roads with dirt and cement blocks in order to prevent the farmers from accessing their lands as they began the olive harvest.

Read More: West Bank road blocked by Israel where settlements are being expanded

Palestinians heavily depend on the olive harvest season for their economic livelihood.

The annual olive harvest, which takes place every year between October and November, is a key economic, social and cultural event for Palestinians.

Read More: Toddler injured after Israeli settlers threw stones at car on West Bank road

In the West Bank, more than 10 million olive trees are cultivated on approximately 86,000 hectares of land, representing 47 per cent of the total cultivated agricultural area.

Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income, and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and more than 15 per cent of working women.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the olive oil yield for the West Bank in 2019 is estimated to reach a record 27,000 tons, which is an 84 per cent increase over the previous year.

The estimated record yield this year is due to the alternate fruit-bearing “on and off seasons” and less infestation by the olive fruit fly during the current season.

Between 80,000 and 100,000 families are said to rely on olives and olive oil for primary or secondary sources of income, and the sector employs large numbers of unskilled laborers and more than 15 per cent of working women.

In some areas, the realization of a potential record yield is compromised due to access restrictions and attacks and intimidation by Israeli settlers. Palestinians with olive groves located in the closed area between the Barrier and the ‘Green Line’ (also known as the ‘Seam Zone’), and in the vicinity of Israeli settlements, face year-round access restrictions and threats that prevent them from safely maintaining their olive-based livelihoods.

To support affected farmers and mitigate the impact of these challenges, humanitarian partners are carrying out a series of activities coordinated by the Protection Cluster, including a protective presence; in-kind assistance; psychosocial support; and legal counselling.

oliveoil.png

Attacks by settlers

Olive-based livelihoods in many areas of the West Bank are also undermined by Israeli settlers who uproot and vandalize olive trees, and intimidate and physically assault Palestinian farmers, including during the olive harvest season.

Settler attacks have been on the rise in recent years: between January and October 2019 OCHA and partners have recorded a monthly average of 27 attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties or damage to property, compared with 25 in 2018, 14 in 2017 and 8 in 2016. The incidents recorded so far in 2019 resulted in damage to over 6,200 (mostly olive) trees, nearly half of them in the Nablus governorate (mostly around Yitzhar settlement), followed by Ramallah and Hebron governorates.

The incidents recorded so far in 2019 resulted in damage to over 6,200 (mostly olive) trees, nearly half of them in the Nablus governorate.

In October 2019, in the context of the olive harvest, humanitarian partners recorded a total of 26 incidents where Israeli settlers targeted farmers, trees or olive produce. This represents an increase compared with 19 and 20 incidents for the same period in 2018 and 2017 respectively.

As the occupying power, Israel has the obligation to protect Palestinian civilians from all acts or threats of violence, including by Israeli settlers, and to ensure that attacks are investigated effectively and perpetrators held accountable. The failure to do so has been a longstanding concern of the humanitarian community in the oPt and is believed to contribute to the persistently high levels of settler violence.

(Source / 12.10.2020)

Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *