Wednesday, November 17 2004 Olive harvest in the vicinity of ‘Anin, northern West Bank

The fence separates the farmers from their land. That is why we gathered 250 people, Palestinians and Jews, arriving in four busses, from Haifa and the north, from Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, to harvest the olive groves with the Palestinians. We were Ta’ayush and of the movements Courage to Refuse and Shalom Achshav. We harvested the groves of five villages: Ya’bad, Tura, Nazlet ‘Isa, Um-ArReihan and ‘Anin. Map of Pengon. We harvested near a road that connects ‘Anin and Tura, now locked between two checkpoints. ‘Anin has 11,000 Dunams (Dunam = 1000 m^2) beyond the fence, and the permits to cross the fence are given with miserliness.20041106-rn3 Sometimes a single person of a whole family gets a permit, and more often than not he’s old or crippled, and then the land is not cultivated and the fruit is not havested properly. Sometimes the permit is given to a family that does not need it. Agriculture is more important now when most of the Palestinians are prohibited from working in Israel. And now they cannot work their land. The farmers of Um-ArReihan, cut off with their land from the rest of the West Bank have to obtain permits to work their land as well. They worked with us on the various plots. Some of the land are of Miri type of ownership – and if they are not cultivated for three years they become Mahlul – that is they revert back to the state – and that only means expropriation, annexation and colonialisation. We harvested well and the fruit was gathered in sacks. No doubt the farmers could have done it better themselves – had not the state conspired against them, against their property and livelihood in its efforts to annex that part of the West Bank. Our hope is that our work will help their attachment to and standing on (sumud) to the land.