- Title: WEST BANK: International and Palestinian activists pick olives in Hebron
- Date: 29th October 2007
- Summary: VARIOUS OF OLIVES
- Embargoed: 13th November 2007 12:00
- Topics: International Relations,Industry
- Reuters ID: LVA71ZRK4M36MW1XYXHC9IFRKY4
- Story Text: Peace activists join Palestinian landowners in harvesting their olive trees to protect them from Jewish settlers.
Not since the Intifida of 2000 have the Jabari family been able to harvest the olives on their small strip of land wedged between two Jewish settlements in the Hebron district of the West Bank.
This year, accompanied by international activists, they are picking their olives for the first time in seven years, under the watchful gaze of Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers.
"I am here because we are helping the Jabari family pick their olives. They live on a piece of land which is right in between two settlements in Hebron and this is the first time in seven years that they have been able to pick their olives because we have had international organisations and Israeli organisations coming here to help them," says Katie, an American peace activist.
Many olive trees owned by residents of Hebron have been uprooted in the past few years in violent confrontations with residents of nearby Jewish settlements. The olive harvest is an expression of solidarity with the farmers of the village.
"No one has been able to come to this land since the year 2000. As you can see, half the olives and half the almonds are burnt. We were only able to come here now accompanied by the foreigners; Issa, Eret and the others.
That's it. We were encouraged by the fact that they are foreigners, no one can harm them, that's why we entered the land," says Anan Jabari, one of the Palestinian landowners.
"This land is located between two settlements. The settlers are trying to confiscate it, with the help of the army of course. The owner of the land is not allowed to enter the land despite an Israeli High Court ruling that this land is his and he is allowed to cultivate it. Many times when he came here previously, he was attacked by both the army and the settlers. So we, as Palestinian and foreign activists, come here to help the landowners enter their own lands, which they are allowed to do by Israeli law," adds Palestinian activist Issa Amer.
Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and the U.S.-led Road Map peace deal of 2002 called for a freeze on their construction.
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