Be a Palestinian farmer for a week or more this October

Like Olive Trees’ Roots We Resist-Olive Harvest Campaign 2015

Be a Palestinian farmer for a week or more this October

(Palestine, Ramallah, August 18, 2015) It is of no new news that the Israeli Occupation continues its violations against Palestinian farmers and their resources. According to the Union of Agricultural Work Committee’s 2015 semi- annual violations fact sheet, the Israeli army and Israeli settlers uprooted more than 9910 trees most of them were olive trees in the first six months of 2015 only. In comparison, the total number of trees uprooted in 2014 was 9400. Thus, there is a tangible increase in the number of trees uprooted in 2015. Other statistics of the first six months of 2015 include: settler violence recorded reached 95 incidents, Palestinian-owned structures demolished in the West Bank reached 280 structures, and violations in Access Restricted Area (ARA) in the Gaza Strip reached at least 370 incidents.

Despite the continuous Israeli uprooting and damaging of Palestinian trees especially olive trees, Palestinians replant more and more trees and become more attached to their land. The olive oil industry makes up 14% of the agricultural income for the oPt and supports the livelihoods of approximately 80,000 families, and nearly half (48%) of the agricultural land in the oPt is planted with 8 million olive trees; the vast majority are in the West Bank according to the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ reports.

The olive harvest season is a perfect period to stand in solidarity with Palestinian farmers and protect them and their olive trees from Israeli (army and settlers) violations. Accordingly, UAWC launches a yearly olive harvest campaign to support Palestinian farmers and protect them from the Israeli violations. The presence of international volunteers along with Palestinian academics, activists and students lowers the severity of Israeli violations. Your presence can reduce the risk of extreme violence from Israeli forces and settlers; also it supports Palestinians’ assertion of their right to access their land. In addition, The Olive Harvest Campaign provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes.

This year’s campaign raises the slogan: “Like Olive Trees’ Roots We Resist” As each year, it is focused on providing an in-depth experience for all the international volunteers by allowing them to stay with farmers; help them in the olive harvest, have long discussions, and experience the Palestinian culture. We at UAWC believe that observing and experiencing the situation is more powerful than just reading about it.

The campaign starts in the first week of October and lasts till the end of the month.

For more details about the campaign contact UAWC at: aghsan@uawc-pal.org

In Solidarity,

UAWC

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