UAWC launches “The Land is Ours” campaign to support farmers in the Olive Harvest Season
Ramallah –The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and its agricultural committees launched the campaign “The Land is Ours” to support farmers in the olive harvest season, particularly in areas behind the wall and near colonies; through calls by the Union for international and local volunteers. The campaign came after an expanded meeting conducted by the Union with its agricultural committees within the project “Defending Our Rights” funded by the Norwegian People’s Aid.
UAWC pointed out that the campaign will be launched in 1/10/2012 and will continue until the end of the season, adding that the campaign comes under the slogan “The Land is Ours” at the same time with the daily harassments of Palestinian farmers imposed by the Israeli Authorities and colonizers. However, the farmers’ losses have doubled during the first half of this year, where the Israeli Occupation Authorities uprooted 3000 olive trees; 70% of them are large fruitful trees and the rest are seedlings. Moreover, more than 8000 dunams were confiscated for the benefit of the wall, not to mention the colonizers attempts to control about 4500 other dunams, while the occupation authorities recently confiscated more than 800 dunams of lands of Nablus’s villages, in addition to escalation of land confiscation in Jordan Valley, Jericho.
UAWC indicted that dozens of farmers were attacked by Israeli colonizers while they were working on their fields during this year, in addition to burning the cultivated lands in various provinces. Besides the attacks and burning, the Israeli Occupation authorities escalated their demolition and confiscation warnings and prevented farmers from accessing and planting their lands, referring to indicators which indicate that the olive harvest season this year will witness an escalation of colonizers attacks on farmers while harvesting heir olives.
“The Land is Ours” campaign aims at strengthening the steadfastness of the Palestinian farmers on their land, facilitate their access to their lands in the olive harvest season, as well as to protect them from attacks by colonizers and Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF). UAWC coordinated with international and local volunteers within the program prepared to support farmers in villages near the wall and colonies, where the union annually launches international campaigns to support farmers in the olive harvest season under a slogan fits the situation in that time.
The campaign is part of UAWC’s mission to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian farmers on their land and enhancing their active roles in defending their rights, especially their right to access their land, particularly in the olive harvest season.
Furthermore, UAWC follows up the harassments of Al-Rahwa village, south of Hebron, as the Israeli Occupation Authorities are currently working on expanding “Tina Amariam” colony, built on the village’s lands. Due to the expansion process about 200 dunams of farmers’ lands were confiscated, not to mention the wastewater that comes from the colony and passes from the center of Al-Rahwa village.
It is noteworthy that UAWC recently succeeded in delaying the demolition and evacuation warnings of Al-Rahwa residents. The Union followed up the demolition warnings, and supported the steadfastness of farmers through constructing two cisterns within the project “Defending Our Rights” funded by the Norwegian People’s Aid. However, the Israeli Occupation Authorities prevented the digging process, but the Union continues its processing to complete the project.