The olive harvest season, the main agricultural season in Judea & Samaria, takes place between October and December of every year. During this time, Palestinian farmers, harvest all the olive trees in the area. Olives and olive oil are an important part of the Palestinian economy, with olive groves covering a large portion of the tilled land in Judea & Samaria. Additionally, to Muslims, the olive tree itself has religious significance.
This season, sees the active movement of Palestinians from their homes towards the groves they own.
Every year, Israeli security forces plan and prepare in advance for the olive harvest season. These plans are made in order to allow the harvest to take place undisturbed, while at the same time maintaining the security and public order in the area.
The preparations for the olive harvest are led by the Central Command, with the assistance and participation of the Civil Administration, Border Patrol, Police and the Legal Advisor to Judea & Samaria.
These preparations include meetings with relevant Palestinian officials, including the head of Olive Council, the various Palestinian Co-ordination and Liaison offices, the heads of Palestinian villages and representatives of the Palestinian Department of Agriculture. Additionally, representatives from the Central Command, the Civil Administration and the Legal Advisor to Judea & Samaria meet with various human rights organizations assisting which assist Palestinians in the olive harvest.
The extensive preparation for the olive harvest season, illustrates IDF’s commitment to find the proper balance between its duty to protect the Israeli residents of Judea & Samaria, and its duty to protect the property and basic rights of the area’s residents.