UN: In 2012, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to West Bank Palestinians have been damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers

Israel/Palestine
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Today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a fact sheet on the Palestinian Olive Harvest, which typically takes place in October and November. The olive harvest is also a period of increased settler violence and intimidation against Palestinians trying to access their land.

Here is a summary from the the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

  • Nearly half (48%) of the agricultural land in the oPt is planted with 8 million olive trees; the vast majority are in the West Bank.
  • The olive oil industry makes up 14% of the agricultural income for the oPt and supports the livelihoods of approximately 80,000 families.
  • The number of Barrier gates increased to 73 in 2012 but the majority (52) are closed year round, except for the olive harvest period and only then for limited hours.
  • In 2011, 42% of applications for permits to access olive groves behind the Barrier submitted prior to the harvest season were rejected, compared to 39% in 2010.
  • In the West Bank, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were damaged or destroyed by Israeli settlers between January and mid October 2012, some 2,000 fewer than during the equivalent period in 2011.
  • Only one of the 162 complaints regarding settler attacks against Palestinian trees monitored by the Israeli NGO Yesh Din since 2005 has so far led to the indictment of a suspect.
  • In the Gaza Strip, 7,300 dunums of land along the perimeter fence with Israel that were previously planted with olive trees have been leveled during Israeli military operations.

Here is the full fact sheet:

ocha_opt_olive_harvest_factsheet_october_2012_english_0

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