Download the Olive Harvest Report 2009.
This year’s harvest was weaker than years’ prior, and alongside the low level of rainfall and hot weather, Occupation policy was a key factor. The olive trees bear less fruit after farmers have been expelled from the land and are prohibited from plowing and maintaining it. Settlers, who light fires, bulldoze groves, and allow pollution from hilltop settlements to run down onto agricultural areas, also contribute to the debilitation.
Farmers across the West Bank experienced assaults on their person and property, in addition to facing the ongoing closure of their agricultural land. Those with land isolated beyond the Wall were often the worst affected. Furthermore, occupation forces have also taken to suppressing the traditions associated with harvest. In the village of Salem, soldiers barred people from preparing tea over a fire amongst their fields, an age-old custom done daily during the harvest.
Many farmers were physically attacked this year, resulting in dozens of injuries. Palestinian farmers also suffered a new martyr this harvest, Mohammed Abdrahman Quariq, from the village of ‘Awarta near Nablus.
This year, the struggle against the settlements continued, and Occupation soldiers attempted to ensure that international observers were not present in certain areas.
Also, the Occupation administration moved to tighten the restrictions on accessing land isolated beyond the Wall.