4th November 2013 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus Team | As Sawiaya, Occupied Palestine
The villagers of As Sawiaya had gained permission to pick their olives, for just 3 days in the year the Israel army was allowing them to visit their land. These three days were overshadowed by the harassment and attacks from settlers from the illegal Israel settlement of Eli. Since these attacks happen on a regular basis, the farmers asked International activists to attend the olive harvest as a protective presence.
Activists accompanied farmers up to the groves closest to the settlement, which lies on top of the hll. On their arrival they discovered, that the trees were bare for all the olives had been stolen. A private security guard from the settlement, told activists that the permission was only for the Palestinian farmers and that the army was already contacted to ask them to leave. Indeed soldiers arrived but made no attempt to evict the internationals.
Farmers who tried to get to the fields closest to the settlement were prevented from doing so by the Israeli Army.
Activists were able to assist with the olive harvest in groves further from the settlement where the crop had not been stolen