Fierce Clashes Over West Bank Olive Harvest

Record Violence Reported in Annual Row

Another fierce fight was reported today near the West Bank city of Nablus as Israeli settlers and Palestinian farmers clashed over their respective olive harvests in the area. The fighting quickly escalated until the Israeli military arrived and broke the sides up. No arrests were reported.

The fighting was just the latest in what has become an annual ritual for the two sides, fighting over the olive harvest and chopping down one anothers’ trees. This year’s harvest is said to have been the most violent in recent memory, with at least 500 Palestinian trees and 100 settler trees said destroyed.

The latest clashes come in the wake of a report by human rights group Volunteers for Human Rights noting that the destruction of Palestinian trees almost never end in any arrests, with nine out of 10 investigations never leading to prosecution.

The olive harvest is a major portion of the Palestinian economy, but farmers often struggle to complete the harvests as in many cases the Israeli government will not allow them access to their fields for “security reasons” and other attempted harvests, as today’s, often end with fistfights rather than collection of the fruit.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.