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Succesful demonstration and olive harvest in Um Salamona

2nd of November 2007

Today, the villagers of Um Salamona called for a demonstration that would assist Mahmoud Takadka, in harvesting his olive trees on his land, located just below the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat. The villagers of Um Salamona have had difficulties getting to their land because the Israeli army has prevented them from crossing Road 60, the construction site of the Apartheid Wall. Under the current Israeli plan, the Apartheid Wall will separate approximately 3,000,000 square meters of Um Salamona’s land from its Palestinian owners, destroying thousands of grape and olive trees that are vital to the livelihood of the local farmers. This is a violation of a recent Israeli High Court ruling, which confirmed that the land is Palestinian-owned.

Early this morning, the farmer and his family tried to get to his land, but the Israeli Army denied them access. Instead, the farmer started harvesting on his fields close to the school, and waited for human rights activists to arrive.

At about eleven o’clock, dozens of Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists joined the farmer and his family in a new attempt to get through to the land. The demonstration went across the route of the wall, continued a few hundred metres and was then stopped by the army. The activists and farmers went peacefully through a razor-wired fence on the side of the road and managed to continue on to the fields. There, the activists and the farmer successfully harvested all of his olive trees. After finishing about three hours later, everyone went peacefully back to the village. No one was injured.