Palestinian olive harvest under attack —again

Palestinian olive harvesters along with Israeli volunteers assisting in the harvest were attacked Oct. 20 by settlers armed with iron bars near the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, according to the organization Rabbis for Human Rights. There were apparently no serious injuries in the incident, but the victims are still being examined by medics. The Palestinian Authority complains that settler aggression, specifically destruction of olive trees and groves, has increased in recent weeks, as the harvest season started. More than 100 olive trees have been uprooted in Krayot village, south of Nablus, Palestinian authorities saud. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in this sector of the West Bank on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, blamed settlers from the settlement Ali. (Haaretz, JP, Oct. 20)

According to a 2012 report on Israeli settler violence released by the Palestine Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, every year the olive harvest sees a peak in attacks on Palestinian civilians and property. In 2012, there were 353 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Over 7,500 olive trees were damaged or destroyed by settlers between January and mid-October of 2012, according to OCHA. (Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 20)

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  1. Settlers assault Palestinian farmer near Nablus
    Settlers assaulted a Palestinian farmer in the Sinjil area between Nablus and Ramallah on Oct. 28, a Palestinian Authority official said. Ghassan Daghlas, an official in charge of monitoring settlement activity the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a number of settlers from Maale Pune assaulted farmer Mohammed Faqha, 45, leaving him with bruises and injuries. Israeli forces then arrested Faqha and took him to an unknown location. An Israeli army spokeswoman said there was a “clash between a number of Israeli civilians and a Palestinian,” but no arrests were made. (Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 28)

  2. Israel issues stop-work orders to Hebron mosque, house
    Israeli authorities on Oct. 28 issued stop-work orders for a mosque and house in a village south of Yatta, a local official said. Al-Dirat village council official, Muhammad al-Adra, told Ma’an that Israeli military forces and civil administration officials issued the orders before taking photos of the mosque and residential property. The house belongs to Nasser Muhammad Ibrahim al-Adara and is under construction. Locals have been fixing the roof of the mosque since last week.

    Israel has destroyed more than 500 Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year, displacing 862 people, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. (Maan News Agency, Oct. 28)

  3. Israelis raze agricultural lands near Nablus
    Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian agricultural lands in the village of Jalud south of Nablus on Oct. 27, a Palestinian official said. Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activities in the northern West Bank, said that Israeli forces bulldozed the land due to their proximity to the two Israeli settlements of Shiloh and Shvut Rachel. (Maan News Agency)

  4. Israel detains 25 Palestinians in West Bank raids
    Israeli forces carried out multiple arrest raids across the West Bank early Nov. 20, detaining 25 Palestinian men, locals said. Israeli military vehicles raided the Jenin village of Yabad at around 2  AM. and ransacked several homes before detaining eight young men aged 20-22. Three more raids targeted the Nablus village of Beita, where Israeli troops detained nine people. Other raids targeted Nabi Saleh village west of Ramallah, el-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron and the town of Dura, south of Hebron. (Ma’an)

    Israeli forces meanwhile demolished a water tank and an agricultural structure in the Nablus village of Aqraba, a local official said. Deputy mayor of Aqraba Bilal Abdul-Hadi told Ma’an that three bulldozers escorted by seven military vehicles stormed the al-Taweel neighborhood and began demolishing the structures, claiming they were built without authorization. (Ma’an)