A number of CFP groups are presently assisting in olive picking this month, including the Tel Aviv-Kalkilya group and the Tel Aviv-Nabalus Group. This is a custom that began in the movement years ago.
In many areas in the West Bank it is difficult for the Palestinian farmers to harvest their own crop. There are many areas where the army does not let them enter or pass, making it impossible for them to tend their own land. In other cases the families are intimidated by the neighboring settlers’ violence. When CfP activists harvest the olives with the local families, it is an opportunity to create solidarity and a chance to offer them safety to harvest in peace. In addition, the harvest time is limited and many working hands are required.
For many of the Palestinians involved in the harvest, it is the first time seeing Israelis who are there to help and protect them – rather than at checkpoints in military uniform.