Farmers in Jayyous Break Gate to Harvest Olives

Published: Thu 9 Oct 2003 10:55 AM
Farmers in Jayyous Break Gate to Harvest Olives
[Jayyous, West Bank] Dozens of Jayyous farmers, accompanied by press and internationals, broke open a gate in the Israeli "Separation Wall", allowing farmers, donkey and tractors to pass through and harvest olives from their land. The gate has been closed for 5th days in a row, with no reason given for the closure.
Farmers are forced daily to wait for hours at the gate for the army to come and open it, hoping they will be allowed access that day. Many days they must simply give up and go home.
Israeli government and army officials claim the Wall is not effecting Palestinian farmers, but in reality, the gate is open only a few minutes, three times a day, or twice, or once: at random, and sometimes not at all, for days at a time- severely limiting access to 9,000 dunams (over 2,000 acres) of land including 120 greenhouses, 15,000 olive trees, 50,000 citrus trees, 6 groundwater wells and livestock pasture. 87% of the families in Jayyous (480 out of 550 families) rely on this land for food and income.
Farmers fear that the Israeli army will prevent them from finishing the harvest. One farmer has said: "Cages are for animals, not for people. Olive trees are important to our culture and economy. This Wall has created many problems for us and we are afraid that this year we will not be able to harvest our olives. What will we do if this happens?"
Please take action: call or fax the Israeli government to let them know that the world is watching, and to insist that Palestinian farmers have unrestricted access to their own farmland. Contact:
Captain Ramy, DCO: +972 (0) 9 775 9218 Israeli Ministry of Defense: Fax: +972-3-696-27-57 / +972-3-691-69-40

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