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Plan for the Olive Harvest Campaign 2006

On the 5th of October a special meeting made up of regional ISM coordinators took place to present their plans for the olive harvest and to make everyone aware of each other’s activities so that better coordination between the regions can take place. Below is a summary of each region’s activities to give an idea of how well organized we are this year and to hopefully encourage more people to come and support the Palestinian farmers and their families against the violence of the colonist settlers and the obstruction and harrassment of the Israeli army. If you are an ISM support group doing training in your country, please let new volunteers know about this plan so that they can have an idea of what they will be doing, and can be reassured that they will be needed.

Nablus region
Some of the most ideological settlers in the West Bank live here in notorious settlement outposts such as Itamar. Nablus region will be the top priority for the campaign because of the danger to farmers from these settlers, and the large number of villages in the area that the ISM Nablus committee has forged contacts with in the lead-up to the harvest.

  • Picking in 24 villages all over the Nablus region
  • Started 1st October. Ongoing till 30th November (most villages will start after Eid).
  • Need for continuous presence of 20-30 internationals from October 25th.
  • Accommodation for volunteers in ISM apartment in the Nablus Old City, but also villages. Bring sleeping bags because of cold nights
  • Co-ordination wtih EAPPI (in Yannun) and Rabbis for Human Rights being done

Hebron region
ISM volunteers will focus on families picking from their gardens and groves in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron city. Last year settlers tried to steal olives. Tel Rumedia contains some of the most extreme, Kahanist elements of the settler movement, hence it is a high priority for the campaign. The Israeli army frequently declares the area as a closed military zone to “protect” the settlers.

  • Eight families in the area have asked for volunteers. Also, 6 families in villages near the Kiryat Arba settlement have asked for volunteers.
  • Starting mid-November
  • Need minimum 5 internationals
  • Accommodation for volunteers in the ISM/Tel Rumeida Project apartment in Tel Rumeida
  • Co-ordination being done with many international organisations. In case of an urgent need in other parts of Hebron region (e.g. Qawawis, Jab’a), will co-ordinate with the international organisations working in those areas such as CPT, EAPPI. to send people if we have them available. The ISM Hebron committee has also talked to Palestinian university students. Will send people to other areas in Hebron region for demonstrations as requested by local committee co-ordinating internationals.

Ramallah region
Generally, not big risks, but people needed in Bil’in outpost. Maximum 7 people needed for whole region. It’s not top priority – if there is an emergency and enough volunteers, people will go there. Direct action is always an ISM priority, even during the olive harvest so we will encourage volunteers to take part in demos, eg. Bil’in and other actions, eg. roadblock removals at Jaba.

  • Bil’in – Priority for this region. Need minimum 2 people to stay in the outpost – they can participate in Olive harvest, but there is minimal risk. It is still a priority, because there is now a problem with getting people past the fence and to the outpost. This was no problem until now.
  • Possiblity of help needed in Beit Sira (first olive harvest since wall built there), Aboud (one family might need some help), Beit Furik (might face some risk because of it’s location) or Biddu (no risk from settlers).

Tulkarem region
There are only three settlements in this region. Five Palestinian villages have land near to them. For the first time this year, Palestinians with certain land in this area will try to access it to pick olives. Not a high-risk area, hence not a high priority for ISM volunteers.

  • Picking in two areas
  • Starting mid-October. Every village needs a week to finish
  • Need around 5 people to move around the region

IWPS in Salfit
Anticipates enough IWPS volunteers over this period to cover their areas. Will send IWPS volunteers to other areas in emergencies if they have the numbers.

  • Strong focus on 7 villages, 5 on standby, going to meet 2 more in next few days
  • Az Zawyia – from mid-October, most after Ramadan – 6 internationals. for 1-2 weeks
  • IWPS are based in Hares village, Salfit region
  • Co-ordination with Rabbis for Human Rights being done