Apartheid Clampdown on Palestinian Farmers As Olive Harvest Begins
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Apartheid Clampdown on Palestinian Farmers As Olive Harvest Begins

***image2***Farmers in Quafin, North Tulkarem, are being prevented from reaping their olives during this harvest season by Occupation forces who have closed the only gate allowing access to the land.

Although 1200 villagers have been granted permits to access lands isolated behind the Apartheid Wall, the closure of gate 436, the only entry point, means that in practice villagers are unable to gain entry to the land.

The head of the village council has said that if they are not allowed to access the olive groves, around 700 tons of olives will be lost.

The wall was constructed on Qufin lands in 2002, destroying 12,000 olive trees and 600 dunums of land with its footprint and isolating 5000 dunums from the village. In 2003 Occupation forces took 1000 dunums from the isolated lands for the expansion of the Kharmish settlement, surrounding the confiscated land with barbed wire. Most of the isolated land is planted with olive trees: a crucial source of income for the villagers.

In a similar case in Al-burg village, south Hebron, Occupation forces have blocked the road to agricultural lands with sand barriers. Farmers who are able to harvest their olives are experiencing huge difficulties in transporting their produce back to the village. However, the road blocks are just the first step: the Apartheid Wall, currently under construction in the village, will completely cut off the farmers from their lands.