Um Salamuna Farmers Pick Olives From Trees Soon to be Stolen

2 November 2007

This morning when a farmer and his family attempted to pick the olives from their trees that may be inaccessible next year if the Annexation Barrier is completed as planned, the Israeli military forbade them from going to their land, which is near the illegal Israeli settlement Efrat. So the plans for the weekly demonstration in Um Salamuna against the construction of the Annexation Barrier were altered and international activists joined the farmer and his family and other demonstrators to bring in their olive harvest.

Demonstrators began with trees on what will remain on the “Palestinian side” of the Fence, but then decided that they would accompany the farmers to the trees that were directly next to the settlement, and the dozens of Israeli soldiers and border police waiting. At first, soldiers attempted to block the people from approaching the land, which will be annexed to the Efrat settlement when the construction of the Barrier is complete. Organizers calmly explained that they intended to help the farmers with harvesting their olives, which is supposed to be allowed. Volunteers then climbed through the barbed wire fence and began picking.
In the end, the farmer and his family were able, with the assistance of Palestinian and international volunteers, to harvest much of their olives and everyone involved vowed to come again next week, to ensure that the Palestinian farmers have full access to their own trees on their own land.