Deaf Valley Farmers Call For International Accompaniment During the Olive Harvest

Deaf Valley Farmers Call For International Accompaniment During the Olive Harvest

For the past couple days, IWPS members have been picking in the valley known as ‘deaf valley’ just near the village of Bruqin, and this marks the third time we have been called to assist/protect farmers in this particular valley.

The farmer, Abu Ameer, and his family own 300+ olive trees in the valley and have to hike over 40 minutes to them. When we arrived at the trees, Ameer, the son of the farmer, apologetically explained that he would have driven us instead of making us hike, but Palestinians are forbidden to use the nearby illegal settler road.

During the hike, Ameer pointed to the single home in the valley next to an agricultural house and explained that it was the home and building of a fanatical settler. This particular settler has caused Palestinians much trouble over the past years and continues to do so. He is known to take Palestinian owned livestock if they are seen on their own, take artifacts from the ruins of Canaanite* structures located in the valley, and has been constructing a road that is cutting through the middle of the valley to connect a nearby settlement. The fanatical settler that lives in Deaf Valley, known as Ishaq, started and continues to work on the road illegally and he will only work during the night to avoid any interactions with Palestinians.

* Canaanites are peoples who lived in the area now known as Israel/oPt, Lebanon and western parts of Syria during the late Bronze Age.

At the bottom of the valley is a stream of wastewater flowing from two nearby settlements that is cutting the valley in two. The water is not only unattractive to look at, but it also carries a foul smell. On the north side of the valley there is a large piece of land owned by a Palestinian farmer of the village Sarta whose land had been set aflame by illegal settlers two years prior and burning half of the farmers trees. A bit farther west, in the north part of Deaf Valley, there is a large bit of Palestinian owned land that Ishaq has started to illegally flatten to prepare for the planting of trees.

Ameer explained to IWPS members that during the previous year’s olive harvest the Israeli soldiers came to his land, assaulted him, and then took his Palestinian I.D. without any explanation. Ameer was forced to go to court four times in order to get his I.D. back from Israeli authorities.

Palestinians who own land in Deaf Valley are nearly surrounded by illegal settlements and settler roads and are under constant alert to the possibility of harassment or attacks by illegal settlers.

Ameer explained to IWPS members that during the previous year’s olive harvest the Israeli soldiers came to his land, assaulted him, and then took his Palestinian I.D. without any explanation. Ameer was forced to go to court four times in order to get his I.D. back from Israeli authorities.

According to an OCHA, the olive oil industry supports the livelihood of 80,000 Palestinian families and amounts to 14% of agricultural income in oPt. For more information, click here.

DSC_1331DSC_1404

WasteWater

DSC_1341