NABLUS, Israeli settlers today kicked Palestinian farmers out of their land Deir al-Hatab village, located to the east of Nablus city, local sources said.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that a group of settlers assaulted Palestinian farmers as the latter were picking their olive trees to the north of the village, and kicked their out of their lands.
The assailants came from the illegal Israeli settlement of Elon Moreh.
Yesterday, settlers flooded lands belonging to the villagers with wastewater, damaging their olive trees as people are engaged in the olive harvest.
With more than 12 million olive trees planted across 45% of the West Bank’s agricultural land, the olive harvest constitutes one of the biggest sources of economic sustainability for thousands of Palestinian families.
According to UN OCHA, the olive oil industry supports the livelihoods of more than 100,000 families and accounts for a quarter of the gross agricultural income of the occupied territories.
But, as local NGO MIFTAH notes, “olive trees carry more than an economic significance in the lives of Palestinians. They are not just like any other trees, they are symbolic of Palestinians’ attachment to their land.”
“Because the trees are drought-resistant and grow under poor soil conditions, they represent Palestinian resistance and resilience. The fact that olive trees live and bear fruit for thousands of years is parallel to Palestinian history and continuity on the land.”
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency