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Tue Oct 30, 2012, 07:11 PM

The war on the Palestinian olive harvest [View all]

Dry shrubs and a mishmash of makeshift tarpaulin shelters cover parts of this parched valley in the South Hebron Hills. The carcass of a car rests in the bottom of a cistern. According to Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran combatants that works to expose to the Israeli public to the realities of the occupation, it had been placed there by local settlers in order to contaminate collected rainwater with rust. This is the village of Susya al-Qadima. There is an absence here of local infrastructure, as Israeli civil authorities repeatedly deny building permits, and the entire village has been issued pending demolition orders. Unlike the much younger neighboring Jewish settlement of Susya, it doesn’t get much more arid and inaccessible in the West Bank than here.

Last Saturday, Israeli Border Police declared an area belonging to Susya al-Qadima a closed military zone, effective immediately. An officer waved papers at us and stated that he was legally warranted to force everyone out of the valley. We noticed that the orders were outdated, unsigned, and dictated that only Israelis were prohibited from entering the specified site. This did not stop the temporary expulsion of Palestinian locals.

An activist beside me from Taayush, the Israeli and Palestinian organization which uses non-violent direct action to try and end the occupation, was detained as he argued against the authority’s actions. He was handcuffed and marched to the army pillbox overlooking the valley. The Border Police prohibited locals from farming their own land, manhandled us, and threatened anyone who remained in the area with arrest. Instead of harvesting, the families gathered outside the closed military zone, overlooking their unpicked olive grove from a distance. Just another day in the South Hebron Hills.

Year after year, West Bank farmers experience multiple types of restrictions and physical attacks. In the first week of this year’s olive harvest, more than 870 olive trees were vandalized or destroyed by settlers, according to the United Nations. Hundreds more are reported to have since been damaged or destroyed across the West Bank.

http://972mag.com/the-war-on-the-palestinian-olive-harvest/58726/

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azurnoir Oct 2012 OP
oberliner Oct 2012 #1
R. Daneel Olivaw Oct 2012 #2
King_David Oct 2012 #3
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Shaktimaan Nov 2012 #19
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shira Nov 2012 #81
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shira Nov 2012 #80
azurnoir Oct 2012 #7
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