Attacks and closures mark Friday harvest
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Attacks and closures mark Friday harvest

Demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and Occupation forces occurred today across the West Bank as farmers attempted to carry on with the olive harvest. The villages of Ma’sra and Ni’lin saw confrontations between villagers and soldiers, while in Kufr Qadum and ‘Asira al-Qibliya settlers continued to harass and assault local residents.

***image1***The day’s events began in Kufr Qadum, where a large delegation of volunteers arrived to harvest in solidarity with local farmers. However, a massive Occupation force was deployed in the lands around the Kedumim settlement, and at least 10 jeeps with police, army and intelligence sealed the area and prevented both farmers and volunteers from reaching olive groves.

At least 45 settlers accompanied the army and confronted the group from Kufr Qadum; a few residents were attacked and olive-harvesting equipment was stolen. The military proceeded to close the entire area, forcing residents and volunteers away from the groves. At least five Palestinians were arrested, including a journalist and farmers who had brought documents proving their ownership of land. Occupation forces also sealed the entrance to the village and barred non-residents from entering.

Settler attacks also occurred in ‘Asira al-Qibliya, where settlers from the Yizhar settlement entered the village. Settlers also expelled farmers from village olive groves.

In Ma’sra, 120 residents joined the Friday demonstration in an attempt to reach their isolated lands. Occupation forces stationed in the area attacked the demonstration with gas and sound bombs as well as rubber bullets, injuring four Palestinians. Villagers were unable to reach their lands, and instead were forced to pick olives from trees from areas that have not yet been confiscated.

The people of Ni’lin also once again had to face sever violence by the Occupation forces, which stopped the villagers from the prayers on their land and the olive harvest. During the clashes, two young Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets.