Every year, EAPPI joins Palestinian farmers in the olive harvest. Our protective presence helps farmers access lands near settlements or in areas cut off by the wall and also helps deter acts of Israeli settler violence against Palestinians and their olive trees.
In this photo essay, we show various views of olive harvest in Palestine.
EAPPI observers participate in the olive harvest in Susiya. Often our presence allows farmers to pick their olives in places under threat of settler violence. Photo EAPPI/B. Rubenson.
Olive trees hold a strong symbolic value in Palestinian culture. Not only do they represent livelihood and community bonds, but also olive branches are a symbol of peace. Photo EAPPI/R. Kolehmainen.
A symbol of peace. Photo EAPPI/A. Aguilar.
EAPPI also joined olive farmers in Far’ata, in the district of Qalqilya. Photo EAPPI/A. Aguilar.
The olive harvest in Palestine is a community event. Over lunch, the farmers and volunteers strengthen their bonds of friendship. Photo EAPPI/ A. Aguilar.
Abu Ra’ed, a farmer in Kafr al Labad makes tea for the harvesters. Photo EAPPI/A. Aguilar.
The idyllic atmosphere of the olive harvest is often interrupted by the presence of the Israeli army. In Kafr al Labad, near Tulkarm, Israeli soldiers watch the olive harvest. Photo EAPPI/A. Aguilar.
Sadly, a wave of Israeli settler attacks marred the olive harvest this year, as it does many years. Here Israeli settlers set fire to a field of olive trees in Jalud. Photo EAPPI/F. Djurklou.
A boy avoids inhaling smoke after Israeli settlers set fire to a field of olive trees in Jalud on October 9. Photo EAPPI/O. Devine.
Again, in Qaryut, Israeli settlers cut the branches from 60 olive trees. Photo EAPPI.
Destruction of olive trees is devastating for the Palestinian community. “The trees are a very important income for us,” described Wsafe Jeaber, one of the Qaryut residents, “You don’t know how much I cried when I saw the trees; only wood and no olives. These trees feed me, my husband and three children.” Photo EAPPI.
An Israeli activist from Ta’ayush plays with a 3 year old Palestinian boy during the olive harvest in Susiya. A reflection of the peace to come. Photo EAPPI/M. Ward.
Once the picking is done, an EA helps a farmer gather the fruit of their labor. Photo EAPPI/A. Aguilar.
An EA helps clean and gather olives. Photo EAPPI/C. Jones.
Despite the difficulties of occupation, the olive harvest remains an important and joyful cultural event in Palestine. 3 boys enjoy a photo break during the olive harvest in Beitillu, near Ramallah. Photo EAPPI.
We’re starting a new series here on the EAPPI blog. Many of you are working for change and promoting just peace in Israel/Palestine. Whether it be presentations, articles, letters, or meeting with policy makers, you need solid resources.
Each month, we’ll present a few good resources that you can use to get the facts straight and are relevant for today.
Since the olive harvest is in full-swing here in Palestine, here are 5 resources about the importance of the olive harvest and the impact of the Israeli occupation on olive farmers.
Although its a few years old, Oxfam’s The Road to Olive Farming is still one of the strongest resources on the Olive Harvest. It not only details the importance of olive farming in Palestine and the difficulties occupation poses to olive farmers, but it also explores ways to unlock the olive market and gives recommendations to the PA, Israeli government, the international community, donors, and local and international NGO’s.
This year’s fact sheet hasn’t come out yet, but UNOCHA’s 2012 Olive Harvest Factsheet is a great resource for quick and easy facts for use in your advocacy.
On October 13 at 3:00 am, Israeli settlers cut down 70 olive trees belonging to Palestinians in the village of Qaryut.
“The trees are a very important income for us,” described Wsafe Jeaber, one of the Qaryut residents, “You don’t know how much I cried when I saw the trees; only wood and no olives. These trees feed me, my husband and three children.”