NABLUS, Monday, October 25, 2021 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today stole olive harvesting equipment from the farmers of Jalud town, south of Nablus, according to an official.
Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors Israeli colonial settlement activities in the northern West Bank, told WAFA that a group of settlers sneaked their way into the southern part of Jalud farmlands, and stole equipment used for olive picking.
The settlers came from the nearby colonial settlement outpost of Ahiya, constructed on confiscated Palestinian land.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces denied farmers of Jalud access to their olive groves purportedly for not having coordinated with the military or the so-called Israeli Civil Administration.
Settlers have recently stepped up their attacks against olive harvesters in the southern district of Nablus, attacking farmers of Burin town and preventing them from picking their olives.
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.”
Settler violence against Palestinians and their property is routine in the West Bank and is rarely prosecuted by Israeli authorities.
Settler violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.
Over 700,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law.