Palestinians harvested their olives this week across the West Bank, continuing a long-standing annual Palestinian tradition despite ongoing hardships caused by settler attacks and the Israeli occupation.
The Palestinian olive harvest season began in early October and will continue for the next week. Recently, Palestinians have come under attack by Israeli settlers around Hebron as well as in Qaryut and Jalud, both near Nablus.
Ma'an toured the olive harvest in Beit Jala, near Bethlehem. Following the harvest, many Beit Jala residents took their olives to the Cooperative Society for Pressing Olives, also in Beit Jala, where the fruits of their labor are subsequently converted into olive oil.
More than 7,500 olive trees were damaged by Israeli army and settler attacks in 2012, according to a UN report. More than 4,000 olive trees have already been damaged so far this year.
Some 800,000 olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli authorities since 1967, according to Oxfam. The loss of olive trees equates to $12.3 million in annual lost income for the 80,000 Palestinian families who depend on the trees for their livelihoods, according to UNOCHA.