Israel’s Supreme Court: Israel should provide security for West Bank olive harvest

Courtroom in Israel’s High Court (The Judicial Authority)


In response to a petition submitted by ACRI and Rabbis for Human Rights. The state requested 2 weeks in which to prepare a response to the demand to allow Palestinian farmers free access to their land every day, and protection against attacks by settlers.

As a result of a petition submitted by ACRI and the Rabbis for Human Rights, the IDF has made it possible for the three villages included in the petition, to harvest their olive groves with full protection from attacks by the local Jewish settler population. During the hearing, that was held on Sunday, 1.11.04, in the Supreme Court on behalf of the local council heads of three villages in Sameria, Yanoun, Ein Abbus, and Burin, the petitioning organizations agreed to provide the IDF a list of all the villages in need of security to harvest their olive crop, and the IDF officers stated their commitment to make the necessary arrangements to secure the harvest, while protecting the harvesters from attacks by Jewish settlers in areas it is required. It was also decided that on the following Sunday the petitioners and state representatives will bring before the court agreements and solutions that have been reached between the two sides.

With regard to the petition’s demand to allow free access for agricultural workers in the West Bank to their land every day of the year, and that the security forces take action to protect them against violent attacks by Jewish settlers, the state requested a two weeks extension before they present a full response. The request was made after the state submitted its initial response that indicated “the State Attorney’s position that the Palestinian residents in Judea and Sameria should be allowed free access to the agricultural land in their ownership, and that the IDF officer is obligated to protect this right of access against hostile forces trying to prevent the resident’s access to their land, or to harm the residents trying to realize their right to this access.” The extension was requested to give the state time to examine the practical implementation of these commitments in light of the present circumstances in the afore mentioned areas. The petition was submitted by ACRI Attorney Limor Yehuda.

Related Links

  • The Association for Civil Rights in Israel
  • Rabbis for Human Rights