Palestinian olive harvest
Photo: AP
Palestinian farmers: We are at settlers' mercy
Palestinians near Qalqilya say Jewish settlers cut down their trees, stole olives. 'They yell at us that the groves belong to them and that we should relocate to Iraq and Egypt,' resident says

Palestinians residing near the West Bank town of Qalqilya accused settlers on Sunday of cutting down dozens of their olive trees and stealing olives.


According to them, Jews also blocked Palestinians trying to make their way to their olive groves near the settlement of Talmon. The Palestinians said the IDF's Coordination and Liaison Administration did nothing to prevent the damage to the olive groves.


Numerous incidents of settler violence have been reported since the Palestinian olive harvest commenced a few weeks ago.


Large amounts of stolen olives and dozens of trees that had been cut down were found Sunday morning near a number of Palestinian villages.


The Palestinians have claimed that while the Liaison Administration is preventing them from harvesting olives without prior authorization, it is not protecting their groves from the settler raids.


"We are at the mercy of the settlers, who yell at us that the groves belong to them and that we should relocate to Iraq and Egypt," said Ayad Mazlum, a local farmer who is in charge of coordinating the harvesting with the Israeli authorities.


The IDF said in response "In the morning hours a group of Palestinians, accompanied by a representative of the Coordination and Liaison Administration and an IDF force arrived at the Jewish community of Zayit Raanan, through which they have to pass in order to reach their groves.


"The (Jewish) residents blocked their entrance, saying the electronic gate had malfunctioned, but the force intervened, and after a delay of about an hour the gate was opened and the Palestinians were able to harvest the olives with the IDF's protection until the evening hours," the army said. 


פרסום ראשון: 10.26.08, 22:18
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Palestinian farmers: We are at settlers' mercy "
This will delete your current comment