A Palestinian woman picks olives from trees farmers say were cut overnight by Jewish settlers, near the Jewish settlement of Eli in the northern West Bank village of A Laban al-Sharkiyeh.
Olive trees are a symbol of the long history of many Palestinian families, and some Israeli settlers have now launched assaults on the trees, cutting down and torching them and at times attacking farmers in what many observers believe is part of a crescendo of settler militancy. —JCL
Eighty-year-old Rasmia Awase had left the best olive trees until last. She and her family had already harvested most of their crop when they went to a small plot near their home in Luban a-Sharqiya on Saturday morning.
Here were 40 trees that Awase had planted and tended herself, and they were now, two decades later, at their peak – the most productive of all the trees, which support 37 members of the extended family.
But Awase found that someone had got there before them and had chopped down the trees, leaving stumps in the ground and branches scattered about the plot. The family blame hardline Jewish settlers from the nearby Eli settlement.