Burning olive trees in the occupied West Bank

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The olives can grow in a land in bad conditions and resist the drought, while still bearing fruit for thousands of years. Perhaps that is why the olive is the symbol of Palestinian land. “My wife and I care for these trees as we care for our children“, he confesses Khaled Mashalá, from the Palestinian village Al Jabah, when trying to narrate the pain he felt when he saw his shattered olive trees. “I cried, not only for the trees but for all the hard work invested in them for 20 years“, he tells the Israeli NGO B’Tselem. During the olive harvest, more than 1,000 olive trees have been burned, destroyed or ruined by the settler violence of illegal Israeli settlements.

Alone in the village of Khaled, in the district of Hebron, the settlers cut down 300 olive trees. In other villages, they have used fire or theft to ruin the harvest of this year’s olives, the worst season in a long time. For many Palestinians, these olive trees are their main economic source, especially during pandemic.

This season the attacks of the settlers, who Mike Pompeo has visited becoming the first US Secretary of State to set foot in an illegal settlement, they have destroyed years of work. B’Tselem, in charge of monitoring settler violence supported by the state, has been able to accompany several collectors and witness the expulsion of their own lands. Under the protective gaze of the Israeli Army, many Palestinians are attacked with stones and even detained.

Ante la shortage of Palestinian olive oil, many families turn to supermarkets to buy it imported. Used to strong taste of the Palestinian olive, emblem of the resistance from this town, Spanish or Italian oils taste foreign to them. Journalist Ibrahim Husseini of Jerusalem recognized in ‘The Take’ of Al Jazeera: “It does not taste bad, but It’s very weird“.

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