Stop the illegal destruction of olive trees. Stop violence against farmers.
Each year October and November mark the olive harvest in the West Bank, one of the main sources of revenue for the Palestinians. Hundreds of people from Israel and abroad come together each year to support the farmers and to celebrate the ancestral tradition of the olive harvest. And each year Palestinian farmers fall victim to acts of intimidation perpetrated by Israeli settlers trying to disrupt their livelihood:
1. The Palestinian Authority's Minister of Agriculture estimates that 1,355,000 trees were illegally destroyed between September, 2000 and April, 2005, of which roughly 446,000 were olive trees. In the majority of the cases, the trees are destroyed with the complicity of the Israeli Army.
2. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs has documented the numerous aggressions perpetrated by Israeli settlers against Palestinian farmers in the occupied territories.
The fundamental right of the farmers to cultivate their land safely and with dignity is under attack.
We ask the Canadian government to take a stand and encourage the Israeli State to guarantee the safety of farmers during the harvest, to prohibit the destruction of olive trees, and to firmly condemn the acts of intimidation committed by settlers.