On Friday, some 200 people from Nahalin and Bethlehem district, together with solidarity activists from all around the world gathered in the village to help the people of Nahalin to reach their olives. Collectively, they were successful in reaching their groves and harvesting the olives.
***image2***Nahalin village is located inside the Gush Etzion settlement block, and is entirely surrounded by settlements. Since the beginning of the intifada, movement of the people has been made almost impossible, and some 90% of the population is unemployed. Rising unemployment means that the olive harvest is even more vital as a source of income. Before 1948, the village comprised 23,000 dunums, 10,000 of which were confiscated shortly after the Nakba. Another 4,500 dunums of land are still slated for confiscation.
The village has been severely under attack during this olive harvest. On October 18, settlers from Betar Illit attacked the villagers with stones and injured Muhammad (4 years) and Wiham Ahmad Hamdan (3 years). On October 25, the farmers were attacked by 30 settlers and driven from their land.
***image3***After the successful olive harvest, the mayor of the village explained to the volunteers the dire situation of Nahalin. Beyond the incessant land grab, the settlement has recently begun polluting the village spring that has for generations served as the main source for drinking and irrigation water. Since Betar Illit has started to pour their sewage in the spring, Nahalin has become dependent on water that they have to buy from Israeli companies.