Israel blocks Palestinian access to farmland ahead of olive harvest

A Palestinian man picks olives during the harvest season (Atia Darwish - APA Images)

Middle East Monitor  /  October 8, 2020

Israel has in recent days issued 63 military orders to close areas and land planted with Palestinian olive trees, covering an area of 3,000 dunams (3 square kilometres) across the occupied West Bank ahead of the olive harvest season.

The military orders bore the signature of the commander of the occupation army in the West Bank, were dated 17 September 2020, and entitled “Closing down an area – preventing entry and stay.”

The military orders were attached to maps and aerial photos showing the locations of the land being targeted by these orders. Most are planted with olive trees.

The terms of the military orders clarified that their entry into force will be from the date they are signed until the date the end of the year.

A research report prepared by the Geographic Information Systems Unit at the Land Research Centre said that the orders targeted lands planted with olive trees in Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah and Nablus.

According to the unit, the orders indicated that these lands were considered part of land belonging to illegal settlements by the occupation forces.