Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mukhmas: Let the harvest begin!

Juicebox Gallery

By Dylan Collins - October 25, 2012
Section: [Culture] [IN PICTURES]
Tags: [Olive Trees] [Settlers attacks]

Olive trees are everywhere in the West Bank, dotting the semi-arid hills with swaths of green for as far as the eye can see. The resilient and weathered olive tree is symbolic of the Palestinian people. They too are resolute and connected to the soil, willing to weather whatever may come their way.

This fall, like every other year, the annual olive harvest season kicked off. In every city throughout the West Bank, and in every quaint village in between, Palestinians put aside their daily vocations to tend to their olive groves.

Israeli settlers attack and vandalize Palestinian olive trees in the West Bank year round, particularly when olive groves are located in proximity to West Bank illegal Israeli settlements; however, the number of attacks rise sharply around harvest time.

In the first week of this year’s harvest alone, the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that Israeli settlers vandalized more than 870 olive trees. The same report details that, since the beginning of 2012, settlers have damaged approximately 7,180 Palestinian-owned olive trees.

Regardless of burnt trees, annexed lands, and violent attacks on harvesters, Palestinians throughout the West Bank are determined to harvest their olives and will continue to do so against all odds.

This week, the Palestine Monitor had a chance to accompany and aid villagers from the small community of Mukhmas, on the outskirts of Ramallah, in harvesting their tiny fruits. Despite the watchful eye of the ever present Israeli military jeep, and the frequent passing of security cars from a nearby Israeli settlement, a joyful atmosphere was kept up by the extended family of Mukhmas and the volunteers who came to assist them.

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