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Olive Harvest 2005

Join Us in Palestine for the 2005 Olive Harvest Campaign!

Palestinian farmers and agricultural organizations, in coordination with the International Solidarity Movement and the International Women’s Peace Service, announce the 2005 Olive Harvest Campaign. The campaign will take place between October 15 and November 15.

While the world is blinded by the smokescreen of Israel’s “Gaza disengagement” plan, the Israeli government continues to seize Palestinian land throughout the West Bank to expand settlements and build its illegal Annexation Barrier.

As this goes on, Palestinian communities continue to resist Israel’s attempts to cement its control of the West Bank and imprison Palestinians behind walls and fences.

The Olive Harvest is an annual affirmation of Palestinians’ historical, spiritual and economic connection to their land, and a rejection of Israeli efforts to seize it. Palestinians are the indigenous people of this land who have farmed olives here for thousands of years. The annual harvest is a symbol of life for Palestinian communities.

Agricultural productivity over the last five years has decreased dramatically because of closures and sieges which prohibit access to farms and markets. Israel’s barrier and increased attacks on farmers and their families in the fields have further diminished Palestinians’ ability to earn a living. Over half a million olive and fruit trees have been destroyed since September 2000. Palestinian agriculture is being destroyed by the policies of the Israeli government and the rights of Palestinians to their land and to a livelihood are being denied.

International and Israeli volunteers join Palestinians each year to harvest olives, in spite of efforts by Israeli settlers, soldiers and bulldozers to destroy this vital piece of Palestinian life. Because much of the world falsely believes that “a peace process” is under way with Israel’s “Gaza disengagement” plan, Palestinians need your support, solidarity and eyewitness testimonies about the reality of life under a military occupation.

How It Works
The Olive Harvest Campaign provides a wonderful opportunity to spend time with Palestinian families in their olive groves and homes.

The presence of internationals during harvest time has proven in the past to help limit and decrease the severity of attacks. After a two-day training session, volunteers for the Olive Harvest Campaign will stay in Palestinian homes in West Bank communities and accompany Palestinian families to their olive groves to serve as witnesses to document and expose attacks by settlers — supported by the Israeli Army — on farmers and their families.

In addition to olive harvest, volunteers will have the opportunity to join Palestinians in nonviolent protests throughout the West Bank against the construction of the Annexation Barrier, settlements and settlement roads.

This 2005 Olive Harvest Campaign is part of the ongoing work of the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian-led movement comprising of Palestinian, Israeli and international activists working to raise awareness about the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to The Occupation. ISM uses nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge the Israeli persecution of Palestinians.

With your help and participation, we will expose the injustice of the Israeli occupation and send a message to the world that The Occupation must end and the Wall must fall!

For more information on preparation, travel and arrival in Palestine, please see the ISM Palestine website, www.palsolidarity.org/main/past- campaigns/oh2005/travel/. ISM support groups located around the world can help answer your questions about the movement and Olive Harvest Campaign. Many will provide training sessions. For information on how to contact local ISM support groups worldwide, please also see the ISM website.