HEBRON, Thursday, October 08, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers today damaged dozens of olive saplings to the east of Yatta town, south of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, according to local sources.
Fouad al-Amur, a local activist, confirmed that a group of settlers damaged and uprooted dozens of olive saplings which were planted by Jabr Awad, a farmer, in his plot of land, located to the east of Yatta, in a clear attempt to seize it together with larger surrounding area in favor of colonial settlement expansion.
The settlers came from the nearby illegal Israeli settlement of Mitzpe Yair.
Yesterday, settlers set fire to 50 olive trees in the village of Deir Ballut, west of Salfit, and assaulted olive harvesters in Huwara town, south of Nablus.
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.”