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Monday, 29 September 2008

Olive Picking in Al Walaja, October 3rd - October 4th

A message from our friends in Al Wallaja:

Dear friends,

As the summer sun gives way to autumn winds, the olives are ripening and the time for their harvest is soon to come. Though picking olives seems like a simple enough activity, it has become an increasingly difficult task for Palestinians whose land is under threat by Israel.

As such, on Friday and Saturday, 3-4 October, from 9:00 am until evening (around 17:00), we will be joining two friends, Abed and Abu Abdullah, to help them harvest their olive trees.

Many of you have already been to Wallajeh, have heard Abed's story and have participated in activities that stand with him in friendship and solidarity. For those who haven't, here is a brief background:

located on the southeastern-most hill of Jerusalem, Wallajeh was formally annexed to
the State of Israel in 1967, but its residents, who mostly live today in Daheisha refugee camp, were not given residency status and are therefore not legally allowed to enter their lands. More than a decade ago, Abed left the dismal conditions of the camp to live in a cave in Wallajeh and plant trees on his ancestral lands. Unfortunately, this did not suit the plans of Israeli politicians and real estate developers. Strategically situated between Gilo and Gush Etzion settlements, there are plans pending approval to build a new settlement on the lands of Wallajeh to be called Giv'at Yael. The contractors have been working closely with the municipality and the army to use every measure possible to embitter Abed's life and force him off his land. He, along with his many friends, has stood strong against all their attempts.

**Directions by Car**: *From the train station at Malha, continue to the traffic circle directly behind; turn right toward Ein Yael. Continue on this road until you get a checkpoint, on the right there will be a dirt path. You can park there and go by foot or brave the steep incline by car.**

Directions by Transport: *There will be transportation to Wallajeh leaving Malha at 9:00.*

Please let us know if and when you plan to join us, if you need transportation or if you have extra space in your car! Also, bring lunch, water, and protection against the sun. For any further questions call Sarah on 054 736 8419

With many wishes for a new year that will bring an end to the Occupation.

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