November 16, 2015 | Meta Peace Team, Phoenix | Occupied Burin
Land stolen by Israeli Settlers, that once Palestinians used for orchards, farming and livestock. Now whenever Palestinians want to harvest or tend to their orchards (what is remaining after Israeli army had uprooted trees and Settlers have purposely burned down acres of trees) , on their land , they must receive a permit from the Occupying Israeli government.
Yesterday, Scott and I accompanied a family for Olive Harvest. The family requested that we accompany them because of fear the Israeli settlers would come down from the settlement that sits on stolen land to terrorize, abuse or murder them. We also assisted the family in harvesting olives. The permit that the family received from the Israeli government only gave them permission to harvest from the morning until 12noon, if the family continued to harvest after the time allotted the Israeli army, police, or border patrol would come to forcefully/violently remove them from their land. During an olive harvest all of the olives can be used for something from canning, pressing for oil or making soap, but under occupation Palestinians often do not have the “luxury” to harvest and separate all that is there. The family’s movements were so precise, only harvesting from the bountiful, rich trees and leaving behind any olives that were not plump. As we were harvesting I saw each of them at different points glance up the mountain to the settlements. Upon reaching the last row of trees some had been scorched and beyond that, others had been burned to the ground. I also noticed while harvesting olives that the trees were in dire need of pruning. Prior to Occupation, Palestinians were able to tend to their land as needed, the occupation has placed unrealistic time restraints on Palestinians, that no farmer could adhere to in maintaining a healthy orchard. Israelis that have stolen the land atop of that mountain, just beyond the orchard, were responsible for damaging and burning those trees, robbing that family of so much more than Olive trees that have been in their family for generations.
Our liberation is bound together, and your solidarity is mandatory.