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2010 Olive Picking Program with the YWCA and YMCA

April 22, 2010

2010 will be the 7th year in which the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine (JAI) and the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) organize the annual Olive Picking Program  in Palestine in October 16th to 25th 2010. This event is of special significance to the Palestinian economy when all energies and efforts are mobilized.

Since the beginning of the second Intifada in 2000, the olive harvest has been overshadowed by the Israeli policies of repression, closure, blockage of streets, confiscation of agricultural lands, as well as repeated attacks against Palestinian farmers by Israeli settlers*. Now with the construction the Apartheid Wall and the continuous expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of agricultural land in the occupied Palestine, many farmers are separated from their trees, and help is most needed.

Buildings on experience from previous years, the JAI and the ATG have planned a program for civil international solidarity with Palestinian people and farmers. The objective of this program is to mobilize as many people as possible for olive picking, especially in areas that are situated in proximity to Israeli settlements and bypass roads, in order to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive trees which they might be unable to do without international support. Also, the event has brought up awareness to hundreds of people from many countries around the world about real life under the Israeli Military Occupation, and the experience itself was referred to by several participants as a life changing one. You too are invited to join us for this event.

Besides picking olives, the program will feature introductory presentations about the organizing institutions, the current situation in Palestine and the effect of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a tour of Hebron, cultural evenings and social gatherings.

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