Joining the crowd of farmers and their families were several mayors from surrounding villages, including Amel Kukush Abu-Hiljeh, the mayor of Deir Istiya and Mayor Deek of Salfit along with representatives of the Palestinian Authority.
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.
An old Ottoman law is being used by the Israeli occupiers to steal even more Palestine land.
“The olive harvest began, almost like clockwork, 2 weekends ago,” writes an IWPSer. “I arrived back from my days off in Bil’in to an empty house as everyone had miraculously disappeared into the olive groves…”
In the 2012 olive harvest season, IWPS accompanied land owners in 15 villages. See the full list, together with their neighbouring illegal Israeli settlements, here.
Denial of access, principal stand to refuse to ask the occupiers for permission to access one’s land, transportation… IWPS Team reflects on the main challenges regarding our work with Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest season.