Olive Tree in Palestine

Olive Tree in Palestine


The olive tree is viewed as one of the principle crops in Palestine. In excess of 10 million olive trees are planted in a region of in excess of 900 thousand sections of land that comprise half of the developed territory, generally in mountains. Contrasted with other natural product trees, this tree is the most across the board comprising 80% of the region allocated for productive trees. The olive tree is one of the seven sorts of organic product that the sacred land was honored by. The Lord has said ” stokes from a blessed olive tree neither eastern nor western”. (Meneley, 2014)

Notwithstanding their representative importance, olives are a fundamental wellspring of pay for around 80,000 Palestinian families. As per UN figures, around 48% of the horticultural land in the West Bank and Gaza is planted with olive trees. Olive trees represent 70% of natural product generation in Palestine and contribute around 14% to the Palestinian economy. 93% of the olive reap is utilized for olive oil creation while the rest is utilized for olive cleanser, table olives and pickles. A significant part of the olive creation is for nearby utilization with a modest quantity of olives being sent out principally to Jordan. With the developing enthusiasm for natural nourishment and reasonable exchange, Palestinian olives are presently additionally arriving at European and North American markets. (Shahwan, 2019)

History of olive tree:

Olive trees have been developed in the locale for a large number of years, with some proof of olive forests and olive oil advancements dating to the Chalcolithic time frame, between 3600–3300 BCE. Later in the Bronze Age, olive organic products were generally exchanged as appeared by the Uluburun wreck, which may have been conveying an olive shipment from Palestine. (Karkar, 2010)

Olives and olive oil had a noteworthy job in the entirety of the significant religions which created in the area. In the Jewish sacred texts, olives were viewed as a major aspect of the endowments of the Guaranteed land and were an image of flourishing. In the New Confirmation, the Mount of Olives has a significant job and the blessing with oil is a piece of Christian and Islamic strict practice.

In the period somewhere in the range of 1700 and 1900, the region around Nablus had created to be the significant zone for olive generation, and the olive oil was utilized in lieu of cash. The oil was put away in profound wells in the ground in the city and encompassing towns which was then utilized by shippers to make installments.

By the late 19 century, money crops in the district were by and large quickly extended to the degree that by 1914 there were 475 thousand dunam of olive forests (about 47.5 thousand hectares or 112 thousand sections of land) over the territory that is presently Israel and the Palestinian regions.  In the late Hassock time frame before the Primary Universal War, olive oil delivered close to Nablus was difficult to send out because of its generally high causticity, significant expense and constrained time span of usability. During the English Order period, generation of olives dramatically inbufferd from the 1920s to the 1940s. (Abufarha, 2008)

After the control of Palestine, Israeli powers focused on olive trees as an essential type of land obtaining and started to remove Palestinian olive trees in 1967, with an expected 830,000 olive trees evacuated somewhere in the range of 1967 and 2009. (Qutub, et al. 2010)

The olive gather was the essential wellspring of pay for Palestinians during the principal Intifada and was so fundamental for the Palestinian people group that open establishments, colleges, and government funded schools shut for the olive season so whatever number individuals as would be prudent could help with the collect. In 2014, UNESCO assigned Battir as a World Heritage site in view of its rural essentialness as its olive generation describes the scene through broad rural patios, water springs, old water system frameworks, human-settlement stays, olive presses, and a notable center. (The Guardian, 2012)

Presently, olive oil is a basic fare for Palestinians in the West Bank. Showcasing expert Robert Massoud states, “There is next to no Palestinians can send out yet olive oil. This reliance on olive oil sends out is broad all through the West Bank to the point that, to most locals, olive oil speaks to monetary security. (Qutub, et al. 2010)

Olive trees convey in excess of a financial criticalness in the lives of Palestinians. They are not simply like any another trees, they are emblematic of Palestinians’ connection to their property. Since the trees are draft-safe and develop under poor soil conditions, they speak to Palestinian obstruction and versatility. The way that olive trees live and prove to be fruitful for a large number of years is parallel to Palestinian history and progression on the land. Palestinians are glad for their olive trees; they deal with them with care and appreciation. Palestine has a portion of the world’s most established olive trees, going back to 4,000 years. A few families have trees that have been passed down to them for ages and the olive collect season in October bears a socio-social significance where families meet up to reap olive trees remembering that their ancestors and moms had watched out for similar trees quite a long while prior. (Shahwan, 2019)


Olive trees are viewed just like a significant segment of customary Palestinian cultivating life, with a few ages of families assembling to reap the olives for two months from mid-September. The reap season is frequently connected with festivity for these families, and family and neighborhood network festivities are sorted out with customary Palestinian people music and moving. As olive development is a critical part of Palestinian culture, the removing of olive trees by Israeli pioneers is a noticeable purpose of worry in Palestinian culture. Artist Mourid Barghouti portrays olive trees as “the character card that needn’t bother with stamps or photographs and whose legitimacy doesn’t terminate with the demise of the proprietor” and “with every olive tree removed by Israeli bulldozers, a family tree of Palestinian laborers tumbles from the divider. Strictly, “the Blessed Books allude all the more regularly to the vine and the olive tree. (Karkar, 2010)

The Present of Olive Tree:

Consistently, Palestinian farmers have made their living from olive development and olive oil creation; 80 percent of developed land in the West Bank and Gaza is planted with olive trees.1 In the West Bank alone, nearly 100,000 families are reliant on olive deals. Today, the olive gather gives Palestinian farmers anyplace somewhere in the range of 25 and 50 percent of their yearly salary, and as the financial emergency extends, the reap accommodates numerous their essential methods for endurance. (Ecologist, 2015)

In any case, regardless of the hardships, it is the merriments and conventions that go with the long stretches of gathering that have held Palestinian people group together and are, truth be told, an exhibition of their responsibility for land that no occupation can stifle aside from by the destruction of Palestinian culture itself. Under an old law from the Footrest time, Israel guarantees as state property land that has been “deserted” and left uncultivated for a time of four years, and this land is then typically apportioned to Israeli pioneers. Obviously, the land has not been deliberately relinquished. As a result of Israel’s conclusion arrangement, which forces the most draconian confinements on development, Palestinian farmers can’t arrive at their farming grounds to tend and gather their harvests. In addition to the fact that permits are required to move about in their very own country, yet farmers are compelled to utilize elective courses that must be consulted by walking or by jackass on the grounds that around 70 percent of these elective courses, those associated with primary or sidestep streets have been shut down by the Israeli armed force with solid squares and discard. (Middle East Monitor, 2016)

Furthermore, presently, for “security reasons,” a divider is being assembled that will for all time separate Palestinian families from their farmlands, aside from the entryways that permit access at specific occasions, however usually, at the impulse of Israeli fighters who may not go up to open them. This makes all year upkeep of farmers’ harvests incredibly troublesome, if certainly feasible. Henceforth the “relinquishment” of land that Israel uses to legitimize its territory robbery. Since 1967, the Israeli military and unlawful pioneers have wrecked more than 1 million olive trees, guaranteeing that stone hurlers and shooters hole up behind them to assault the pilgrims. This is a credible contention, in light of the fact that these trees develop somewhere inside A Palestinian area where no Israeli pilgrim or fighter ought to be regardless. Yet, Israel is determined to appropriating even the last remnants of land left to the Palestinians thus chooses not to see any strategies utilized by pilgrims and officers the same to threaten the farmers from their homesteads and yields, regardless of whether that implies annihilating their territory. Farmers are continually under danger of being beaten and took shots at, having their water supplies debased (effectively rare, on the grounds that 85 percent of sustainable water assets go to the pioneers and Israel), their olive forests burnt, and their olive trees removed. (Ecologist, 2015)

On a bigger scale, the Israeli military gets the bulldozers to remove trees in the method for the “security wall’s” course and where they obstruct the improvement of foundation important to support the illicit settlements. A portion of these compromised trees are 700 to 1,000 years of age are as yet delivering olives. These valuable trees are being supplanted by streets, sewerage, power, running water, and broadcast communications systems, Israeli military garrison huts, preparing regions, mechanical domains, and industrial facilities, prompting gigantic raid of the earth. In the event that Israel has its direction, neither the trees nor the Palestinians who have thought about them will endure the uncouth ethnic and ecological purging of Palestine. (Middle East Monitor, 2016)

Challenges faced the olive tree cultivation in Palestine:

1. Permissions

Palestinian farmers face a few difficulties in keeping up their olive trees before they are collected. On the off chance that the land where the olives are planted lies in Zone C, 60% of the West Bank, which as per Oslo is under full Israeli control, the farmers need licenses from Israeli specialists to get to their property and to watch out for their trees. A similar guideline applies to those farmers whose grounds are in the “buffer zone” i.e the zone between the Green Line and the Detachment Divider. (Abufarha, 2008)

In Gaza, the security “buffer zone” expands well past 600 meters from the Gaza-Israel Green Line, taking up 30% of horticultural land. Further, farmers are not ready to get to the land 1.5 km into Gaza from the security line due to Israeli shelling, shooting and attacks. OCHA figures demonstrate that 7,300 dunums of land with olives along the fence have been decimated during Israeli military tasks. Further, Palestinian famers in Gaza are disheartened from replanting their olive trees for dread that they would be crushed in Israeli attacks and for dread that they may be hit by “notice shots”. (The Guardian, 2012)

In any case, the grant framework is by and large rather discretionary. There are no unmistakable arrangements of prerequisites the Palestinian candidates must satisfy to get the license. In the wake of having demonstrated authoritative reports of proprietorship and passing the “security” check, the license may be given to just the individual under whose name the land is enlisted with nobody else from the family permitted to get to the land. This turns into an issue since land possession has a place with the entire family regardless of whether the land enlistment is under the name of one of the relatives. Moreover, constraining the quantity of individuals who can work the land additionally influences agrarian productivity which thusly influences the olive produce and financial in buffers from it later on. (Shahwan, 2019)

Further, when licenses are given, they are frequently given for a present moment and should be reestablished, each time with no assurance that it will be recharged. As indicated by UN sources, 42% of uses for licenses to get to olive forests behind the Divider in 2011 and 39% in 2010 were denied. On the off chance that a relative is politically dynamic as well as has been kept (during shows for instance) everybody in the family may be denied grants. Henceforth, the grant framework is utilized to pressure Palestinians into relinquishing protection from the Occupation.

At the point when grants are given particularly to those whose grounds are in the ‘buffer zone’ or close to settlements, the farmers need to go through horticultural checkpoints to get to their trees. These checkpoints are regularly opened at specific times each year and for a couple of hours daily, constraining Palestinian farmers from filling in as much as they see fit which later likewise decides their produce. All in all, in light of the fact that uncultivated land is bound to be reallocated by Israel as state land and on the grounds that the grant framework and the rural checkpoints direct the sort and measure of composts, tractors, vehicles and different materials, a few farmers have been compelled to return to planting olive trees and depending on them for their pay regardless of whether their property is helpful for different kinds of natural product. Since olive trees can endure in any event, when not very much taken consideration, they fill in as a method for holding land proprietorship and give the fundamental wellspring of salary for Palestinian farmers. (Ecologist, 2015)

2. Settlers assaults, financial expenses and absence of components for lawful review

Another developing challenge confronting Palestinian farmers is assaults by pioneers. The time of 2017, UNOCHA revealed that in excess of 7,500 olive trees were wrecked among January and mid-October. Assaults by pilgrims have expanded by 39% from the year 2016-2017 and by 315% from 2007-2017. Also, these assaults shoot up during the olive collect season where Palestinian farmers become focuses as they reap their olives. While a portion of these assaults are submitted under the name of sticker price. i.e discipline of Palestinians for Israeli court requested and implemented expulsion of stations, the greater part of the assaults including sticker prices radiate from basic contempt, prejudice towards Palestinians and Zionist ideological cases to the land. In the expressions of the leader of the pioneers battle base camp in Yitzhar settlement (as recorded by B’Tselem), assaults on Palestinians is a presentation of good citizenship that was expected to enable the police to implement the arranging and building laws in the zone on Palestinians. (The Guardian, 2012)

Generally speaking, around 2.5 million trees, 33% of which are olive trees, are accepted to have been evacuated since 1967. Assessing the normal yearly profitability of an olive tree to be 70 kilos and the cost of olive seeds 1.103 USD/Kilo, Applied Exploration Foundation Jerusalem appraises that the Palestinian economy has lost around 55,133,602 USD since 1967 to 2009. (Qutub, et al. 2010)

3. The Shortage of Grumbling and Grievance system

Most of the grumblings against such assaults are not truly researched by the police or the military. Just one out of the 162 protests with respect to pilgrim assaults on Palestinian olive trees revealed by Yesh Commotion, an Israeli NGO since 2005 has prompted prosecution of a suspect. Israeli human rights bunch B’Tselem and different gatherings have likewise announced that Israeli security powers are not conveyed ahead of time to ensure Palestinians in zones of risk and neither do they secure Palestinians when pilgrims assault. Indeed, intermittently, Israeli warriors put more limitation on Palestinians as opposed to pioneers when showdowns emerge. (Meneley, 2014)


According to the importance of the olive tree on the political, economic, cultural, heritage and other life aspects for many Palestinians, this tree is standing against the Israeli practices toward up-rooting it from all the lands related to Palestinians. Thus and during the significant collecting season, one can locate a varied blend of Middle Easterner specialists, and a huge number of volunteers who originate from various pieces of the nation, the US and Europe to help in the olive reap. Numerous internationals, and Palestinians the same, accept that their quality keeps up a peaceful atmosphere.

The olive reap is a convention as old as Palestine, and paints a wonderful story of the connection between the individuals and their property. Olive trees endure the hardest conditions and develop their underlying foundations profoundly into the earth, which they call home. For a huge number of years, these trees have remained as an image of obstruction, firm despite seemingly insurmountable opposition of nature; like the Palestinians themselves, who are standing firm against every one of the difficulties of occupation and putting stock in the expressions of Mahmoud Darwish: “We have on this land what makes life worth living.”


Abufarha, Nasser. (2008). Land of Symbols: Cactus, Poppies, Orange and Olive Trees and Palestine. Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 15 (3): 343–368. doi:10.1080/10702890802073274.

Ecologist. (2015). “Destruction of Palestinian olive trees is a monstrous crime”. 7 Nov 2015. Retrieved 3/12/2019.

Karkar S. (2010) The Olive Trees of Palestine Weep. In: Cook W.A. (eds) The Plight of the Palestinians: A Long History of Destruction. Palgrave Macmillan, New York.. Springer. pp. 51–53.. Retrieved in 2/12/2019. From: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230107922_6.

Meneley, Anne. (2014). The Accidental Pilgrims: Olive Pickers in Palestine. Religion and Society: Advances in Research. 5: 186–199. Retrieved from: DOI: 10.3167/arrs.2014.050112

Middle East Monitor. (2016). “Israel uproots olive trees in Qalqilya to build settler road”. 9 May 2016. Retrieved 3/12/2019.

Qutub, M; Ali, S; Mutawea, M; et al. (2010). Characterization of the Main Palestinian olive cultivars and olive oil. Paltrade. Retrieved in: 2/12/2019. From: https://www.accademiaolivoeolio.com/img2/file/first-edition-manual-characterisation-of-the-main-palestinian-cultivars-and-olive-oil_201806191123452_43v3n75e3p4rotvp0hn08y1qe.pdf.

Shahwan, N. (2019). Palestinian olive harvest season: A symbol of resistance. Daily Sabah, OP-ED, Retrieved from: https://www.dailysabah.com/op-ed/2019/11/16/palestinian-olive-harvest-season-a-symbol-of-resistance

The Guardian. (2012). “Israel urged to protect West Bank olive trees after settler attacks”. 15 Oct 2012. Retrieved in 2/12/2019.

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