Photo: Ata Awisat
Security fence
Photo: Ata Awisat

Palestinians to court: Let us harvest olives beyond fence

Villagers appeal against Civil Administration decision forbidding them from crossing security fence to reach olive groves

The security fence was moved – and has left olive groves on the other side. Residents of the Palestinian town of Wadi a-Rasha, which borders the Alfei Menashe settlement, have appealed to the High Court Tuesday for permission to access their olive groves.


The petitioners told the court they wish to complete this year's olive harvest, claiming that 98 requests submitted to the Civil Administration have been denied.


In the appeal, presented by Michael Sefard, legal counsel of the Yesh Din human rights group, the residents argued that their inability to reach their groves, located beyond the security fence, is gravely impacting their livelihood. Following a High Court decision that ruled for altering the security fence route in the area, the village's land was separated from its agricultural fields, which extend over an area of 500 dunams.


The appeal claimed that Israel pledged to ease, when possible, the residents' ability to travel from the village to the fields beyond the fence, especially during the picking and harvesting season but in spite of earlier assurances, nothing has been done. They fear for their annual income should the situation continue.


"The case of the village of Wadi a-Rasha proves that law enforcement agents are not only failing in defending Palestinians from settler extremists who damage the olive harvest, they are, with their own hands, preventing the Palestinians from realizing their legal right to harvest their land" said Sefard.


Sefard's colleague in Yesh Din, Avisar Lev, noted that "the olive harvest season, which is only a few weeks long, is currently at its height. The courts must interfere as soon as possible in order to prevent irreparable damage to the livelihood of the residents of Wadi a-Rasha".



פרסום ראשון: 10.12.10, 17:48
 new comment
This will delete your current comment