JERUSALEM, Saturday, October 24, 2020 (WAFA) - The olive harvest season, which started on 7 October, was disrupted by Israeli settlers in 19 incidents in the period between 6 and 19 October leaving 23 Palestinian farmers injured, over 1,000 olive trees burnt, or otherwise damaged, and large amounts of produce stolen, according to the biweekly Protection of Civilians Report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the occupied Palestinian territory.
In the outskirts of Burqa village in the Ramallah area, settlers stoned and physically assaulted Palestinian olive pickers on three occasions, triggering clashes. Israeli forces intervened in one of the clashes, injuring 14 Palestinians and leaving 30 trees burnt by tear gas canisters. The remaining injuries were recorded in farming areas near the town of Huwwara in the Nablus district, and the villages of Ni’lin and Beitillu in the Ramallah area.
Next to the Israeli settlement of Mevo Dotan near Jenin, about 450 olive trees were set on fire and destroyed shortly after Palestinian farmers from Yabad village were attacked there by settlers and forced out by Israeli soldiers. A few hundred olive trees belonging to Palestinians from Saffa village near Ramallah, in the closed area behind the separation barrier, were also set on fire and damaged.
In another 10 locations adjacent to settlements, farmers found when they were able to reach their lands that their olive trees had either been vandalized or harvested, and the produce stolen.
Several of the incidents took place in access-restricted areas, where the Israeli authorities allow Palestinians to enter only two to four days during the entire harvest season when the harvesting often takes as long as one month.
Another four attacks by settlers were recorded during the same period, said the OCHA report.
A one-year-old Palestinian was injured when the car he was traveling in was hit by stones in the Bethlehem governorate. In nearby al-Khader, 40 beehives were set on fire and burnt. In the Farsiya area of the northern Jordan Valley, Palestinian shepherds were physically assaulted by a group of settlers, and one of their sheep was killed. In Jaloud village near Nablus, electricity poles and cables providing power to agricultural rooms were cut and damaged.
In three incidents in Area C of the occupied West Bank, the Israeli authorities demolished or seized eight Palestinian-owned structures for the lack of Israeli-issued building permits, displacing 12 people, said OCHA.
Five of the structures were in two communities in the Massafer Yatta area of Hebron, which had been designated a ‘firing zone’ for Israeli military training. The remaining three were demolished in the community of Al Farisiya-Khallet Khader of the Jordan Valley on the basis of Military Order 1797, which allows for demolitions within 96 hours of the issuance of a ‘removal order.’