Ramallah, ALRAY -- The olive harvest in the occupied West Bank is considered to be as a Palestinian wedding comes on October of every year; yet it still not safe from disturbances of settlers who increase their attacks protected by Israeli army.
The harvest season represents a symbol to strengthen the steadfastness of the Palestinian farmers and a refuge to alleviate poverty for poor families, especially in rural areas of the West Bank, in spite of the renewed pastime of Israeli settlers to carry out their attacks against Palestinians.
The Palestinian farmer Ahmed Abdullah, from Salfit and owns several donems planted with olive trees behind the wall said : " The harvest season is difficult this year because of the occupation and the ongoing practices of settlers". Abdullah seemed worried about the coming days as he prepares to reap the olives fruits of his lands located behind the wall.
He points out that a big loss and a catastrophe could happen to olive growers after all what they face during the day, where most of the family members, but the Israeli settlers steal and destroy the harvest, what causes heavy losses for the production.
Ghassan Douglas, the official of Settlement file in the northern West Bank, confirms that each year the olive harvest witnesses an intensification of attacks by settlers, which requires caution by farmers, especially who have lands near checkpoints and settlements.
In his turn, the farmer Naeem Khalil from the village of Burin south of Nablus said: "I have dozens of olive trees were providing for my needs and my children who work sometimes with me within the unemployment program, but as my land is located near the settlement of" Asther ", many extremist settlers assault me in every season."
For his part, the agricultural engineer Talal Baraka stressed that the number of olive trees planted for the current season amounted to about 12 million trees and about 80% of the planted lands in Palestine, where most of the olive groves are rainfed, excepting nearly 30 acres under irrigation and assisting irrigation which is found in the southern provinces and Jordan Valley.
The farmer Abu Amer from Deir Ballut village, harvested his olives early said: "Olive saves us a lot; it is a major income through the olive oil and the selling oil itself, it is like a green gold for us, where we do not have another source of income, but what bothering us at every season is the settlers' attacks and permits behind the wall where the inspection and humiliation on the gates."
In every season; farmers face many threats and attacks by the Israeli occupation forces and settlers to prevent them harvesting olives in the nearby streets that are used by settlers or near the apartheid wall Fields.
Many Palestinian farmers avoid the settlers vehicles passing across the so-called Samaria street near Jammai'n, for fear of shooting him and his family during the harvest, where he quickly ask voluntary groups of foreigners to help.
Israeli forces and settlers deliberately pursue a programmed policy to cause heavy losses for Palestinian farmers in harvest season, or at least restricting them, arresting and wounding and killing them in case of singling them out alone in the land and where few number of farmers presented.