An annual Palestinian harvest means trouble in the occupied territories. Robert Berger reports from the VOA bureau in Jerusalem.
settlers attacked two news photographers covering the Palestinian olive
harvest in the West Bank. Video showed four Israelis move into a grove
near their settlement where Palestinians were picking olives with the
help of Israeli and foreign supporters. The settlers punched and kicked
the Palestinian photographers and grabbed one of their cameras. They
also assaulted a British activist. One of the photographers threw
stones at the settlers.
It was the latest in a series of
attempts by militant settlers to disrupt the annual olive harvest which
is vital to the Palestinian economy. Israeli police intervened and
broke up the brawl. There were no serious injuries and the settlers
were allowed to walk away.
Palestinian parliamentarian Moustafa
Barghouti was there.
"Palestinian villagers are encountering a terrible
war by the Israeli illegal settlers and the Israeli army against their
trees, against their land," he said. "We are here to help them in a
peaceful, non-violent resistance to maintain their land."
The settlers say disrupting the olive harvest is a legitimate response to repeated Palestinian vandalism and attacks.