More Than 60,000 Signatories, Including Nobel Prize Laureates, Celebrities and Religious Organizations, Call For Military Embargo on Israel Ahead of Gaza Donors Conference - Signatories Include Desmond Tutu, Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Michael Ondaatje, Brian Eno, Mira Nair and Mike Leigh
Under the surveillance of dozens of Israeli soldiers the opening event of the Olive Harvest program was in Wadi Fukin village. Activists from Palestine, Norway, Sweden, Spain, USA and Germany gathered in a field threatened by the nearby Israeli settlement Beitar Illit, to pick olives. A good amount of cameras covered the harvesting, among them Palestinian press. Wadi Fukin village is surrounded by three Israeli settlements Tsur Hadassah, Beitar Illit and Hadar Beitar.
The Israeli policies to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian Bedouin communities from the Jordan Valley and the area east of Jerusalem include the construction of three apartheid-style townships. Once expelled, these communities should be relocated there. However, in the last weeks Palestinian campaigners and Bedouin communities have made great advances to obstruct this plan: They have directly targeted the companies involved in the construction of the two townships currently being developed.
On Wednesday the 8 of October settlers torched 30 olive trees in the village of Nahalin, west off Bethlehem. Residents from the village say that it was a group of settlers from Beitar Illit. The residents say that this is not the first time, but one of several attempts to seize land for the settlements.
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The Olive Harvest program opening campaign in Wadi Fukin Friday, 10.10.14
Monday 6.10: Israeli settlers cut down around 100 olive trees nearby the village of Yassouf, which is located about 7 km north of the town of Salfit. Farmers from this area have reported that settlers from Tuffah were behind. It has also been reported about vandalism in Burin and in Awarta.
Since the Israeli occupation of the West bank in 1967, more than 800 000 olive trees have been destroyed by Israeli forces or settlers, according to human rights organizations.
The Land Defense Coalition, a coordinating body of grassroots movements and organizations, announces the program of collective efforts to safeguard the annual olive harvest and are calling on volunteers to stand in solidarity with Palestinian communities and join in the harvest on October 10 until October 25, 2014.
The Israeli military administration has published a new plan of expulsion of Bedouin families from their communities and to relocate them in new cities. This is tightening the threats to the Bedouin in the Jordan Valley and may form another step towards the fragmentation of the West Bank.