Israeli settlers attacks against olive harvesters in West Bank

‘The overall conduct of the Israeli authorities during the olive harvest season is indicative of the unlawful policy that Israel has implemented in the West Bank for decades,’ B’Tselem said

Israeli occupation settlers attacked on Tuesday Palestinian farmers harvesting olive crops in the village of Burqa, east of Ramallah, injuring two farmers.

After the farmers, supported by dozens of volunteers, were able to reach their farms in Burqa, which they have been denied access to for years by the Israeli occupation forces, and started harvesting their olive, settlers violently attacked them.

The settlers, from the illegal Megron settlement, were protected by the Israeli occupation soldiers when they attacked the farmers in an attempt to push them leave their land.

During the settlers’ attack, two Palestinian farmers were injured.

Meanwhile, Israeli settlers stole the olive harvest of a Palestinian farmer, Yehya al-Kurdi, in the village of Burin to the south of Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Palestinians look forward to the annual olive harvest season, which is a major income source for thousands of Palestinian families in the West Bank.

In addition to stealing olive harvest from farmers, many farms planted with olive trees are closed to farmers due to their proximity to Jewish settlements or fall behind the Israeli apartheid wall.

Rights organizations have documented a sharp rise in Israeli settlers’ attacks against Palestinian farmers harvesting their olive trees or stealing their crops and of soldiers banning farmers from reaching their land in areas close to the illegal settlements.

According to the Israeli human rights information center, B’Tselem, the dispossession and violence that mark Israel’s policy in the West Bank peak during the olive harvest, when Palestinians need to access their land to pick the olives off their trees.

“The overall conduct of the Israeli authorities during the olive harvest season is indicative of the unlawful policy that Israel has implemented in the West Bank for decades,” B’Tselem said.

It stated that “this policy centers on dispossessing Palestinians, including farmers, and preventing any possibility of development – willfully ignoring the needs, rights and wishes of the Palestinian population while continuously expanding settlements, developing them and promoting other Israeli interests.”

(Source / 13.10.2020)

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