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Burned Olive Trees

As MPT leaves the taxi at a checkpoint on the way to picking olives, an Israeli soldier questions our team.

This morning MPT went to assist a Palestinian farmer with his olive harvest. A month ago, the Alqami family had 350 olive, fig, and almond trees burned by the illegal Israeli religious settlement of Har Brach which overlooks the family ‘s trees. The family has 650 trees remaining which the grandfather planted 60 years ago on their 750 durans of land (roughly 185 acres).

The District Coordinating Office (DCO) of Israel had issued at permit for Omar Alqami to harvest on October 11 when there could be military presence to insure protection from the settlers. Omar, however, was unable to harvest on the unrequested date so today was the start of his olive harvesting. Omar states it will take at least 10 more days to finish his harvest. With only himself, his wife and his son, Omar has no plans to harvest any trees close to the settlement “because it is just too dangerous.”

Yesterday, the DCO told the farmer just below Omer that his permit to pick olives was November 18 – a date when the olives would be past harvesting stage.

Such is the life of the farmer in the Occupied Territory of Palestine.

1 comment:

MPT Juárez 2010 said...

This is an excellent post. The photos are particularly well chosen to illustrate the disturbing and informative message.