Building Steadfastness in Face of Colonies’ Expansion
The production of olive oil in Palestine is considered fundamental for Palestinian economy. For the majority of Palestinian families, especially in the north of the West Bank and in some areas in the south, olive trees have an economic and historic importance as these trees have been part of the Palestinian landscape for thousands of years.
The olive oil sector is one of the major agricultural incomes for Palestinians. Unfortunately, this sector has been facing many obstacles which have prevented it from developing.
The first problem is the removal of thousands of olive trees by the Israeli occupation due to the building of the segregation wall and the establishment of Israeli colonies throughout the West Bank. Colons’ activities include burning and cutting olive trees and in so doing they prevent the farmers from harvesting the olives. The colons even steal the olives sometimes.
The price of olive oil and olives is low compared to the cost of production because of the deteriorated work conditions. The Israeli occupation fights this sector and tries to destroy it in order to force the Palestinian farmers to leave their land.
PSP helps Palestinian farmers who have land close to either a colony or the separation wall in villages near Hebron and Bethlehem and even more so in Beit Ommar. PSP contributes with planting and replanting the land to encourage the farmers’ steadfastness.