Nablus olive harvest to start Oct. 9 in restricted areas

Maan News Agency | Sept 25, 2012

NABLUS (Ma’an) — The olive harvest will start on Oct. 9 in restricted areas of Nablus, a PA official said Tuesday.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that the Nablus governorate had informed farmers about the decision.

The set date will enable farmers and local committees to better organize against potential settler attacks, as many restricted access areas lie adjacent to settlements.

Settler attacks often increase around the time of the olive harvest season as settlers target olive trees and agricultural land.

Last October, the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees organized groups of volunteers to protect West Bank farmers from attacks by settlers during the olive harvest.

Volunteers also helped farmers to harvest groves behind Israel’s separation wall, as Palestinians must apply for permits from the Israeli military authorities to secure access to their land.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs reported that over 2,500 olive trees were destroyed in September 2011, and 7,500 throughout 2011.

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