Occupation restrictions besiege Awarta olives

Strict restrictions and procedures are faced by the citizens of Awarta village, located to the southeast of Nablus city, in order to be able to harvest olives from their lands located on the eastern side of the village, classified as “C”.
In addition, these lands, which are located near the “Itamar” settlement, are subjected to repeated attacks by settlers, affecting trees, stones and people, in a constant effort by the settlers and the occupation to swallow up the village’s lands and disengage the citizen from his land.
The citizen Abd al-Salam Awad, who owns land in the eastern region of the village, says that in order to be able to reach his land, which is not far from him, he needs security coordination and very difficult procedures, and this is in addition to conditions imposed by the occupation on them, such as preventing the entry of agricultural tools.
He adds that even after reaching the ground, they are subjected to a lot of harassment, such as detention for several hours, identity checks, and sometimes they are denied entry.
He explained that the nature of the attacks varies between verbal and physical attacks and attacks on olive trees by cutting them, breaking them and stealing their fruits, in addition to discharging wastewater from the settlement on agricultural lands, which impedes access to olive trees and leads to crop damage.
Awad expressed his fears that women and children would be taken to these lands to avoid being attacked by settlers.
He added that the number of days set by the occupation to pick olives is completely insufficient for this area of ​​land, and stressed that the occupation aims by allowing them to enter their lands to achieve a purely media purpose, to decorate its image before the world and international institutions.
On the other hand, farmers complain about the lack of government support for them to face the settlers' attacks and the occupation.
Awad stressed that he did not receive any assistance from any official or governmental body, and expressed his deep regret for the shortcomings of these institutions, and stressed that they sing empty slogans to support the steadfastness of the citizen, which are slogans that have nothing to do with what is happening on the ground.
He stressed that the farmers in the village did not receive any assistance related to the agricultural aspect and to support the steadfastness of the citizens in these lands.
And he sent a message to the Palestinian government, and specifically to the Ministry of Agriculture, calling on it to pay more attention to farmers and areas prone to settlement.
For his part, the head of Awarta village council, Hisham Awad, confirmed that there is no assistance provided to the people in these areas from any side, and that the village council is the real supporter of the people.
He said that the council used to be with the citizens during the days of plowing and harvesting, and that the council attaches the utmost importance to this issue nationally and existentially in the struggle with the occupier.
He stressed that the council remains in constant contact with the Palestinian civil liaison to facilitate the residents' presence in those areas.
He indicated that the area of ​​the lands that citizens are prevented from freely living in, classified as “C” in Awarta, is about 12,000 dunams out of 22,000 dunams.
These lands are wooded with perennial olive trees, which are considered one of the best and most productive types of olive trees.
The head of the council says: “The battle with this occupier is clear. It is a battle of existence. The more we hold on to our land, the closer we come to thwarting the occupation’s plans to uproot us from our land.”
He added: "We must learn from the olive tree that they are trying to uproot from the ground. It is only months until it is raised from under the dirt again."
And he sent a message to the occupation that the roots of the Palestinian people extend in this land to unimaginable depths.
It is noteworthy that the occupation restricts the access of Palestinians to thousands of dunums of their land adjacent to the settlements in the West Bank to pick olives and care for their land, under the pretext of security reasons.

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