Revenues for the Palestinian economy from the harvest this year are estimated at over 140 million US dollars.
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesperson)
Approximately one month after the olive harvest began in the West Bank, the vast majority of olives in the area have been successfully harvested, assisted by the early deployment of security forces in the region.
This year, the harvest was made possible in many areas, including those close to Jewish communities and others in which the harvest was denied in recent years due to security or legal restrictions. During this period of time, a number of clashes occurred, but due to prior intelligence, security forces were able to immediately intervene to secure the harvest grounds. All forces were instructed to facilitate the safe continuation of the harvest and to enable its safe completion.
Although most of the harvest did not require coordination with the IDF and Civil Administration, past experience and different security needs determined that certain areas called for advance coordination with the aforementioned bodies.
Official figures from officials in the Palestinian Authority indicate that the number of trees damaged during the harvest constituted only 0.05% of the total harvested crop.
As a part of preparations for this year’s harvest, meetings were held between Civil Administration personnel and their Palestinian counterparts. The meetings included representatives of the various villages in the region, as well as important figures from the Palestinian Authority (PA) including the PA Olive Oil Department, and were held in order to coordinate a schedule for the harvest. In addition, Israeli security forces authorized the plan for the harvest, during which they would provide security, after conducting security assessments.
Permits to harvest olives in the seam zone were granted to approximately 3,000 Palestinian workers for the duration of the harvest, as a part of a general enhancement in agricultural work enabled in that area.
Information about the olive oil industry:
Olives are one of the most important crops grown in Judea and Samaria, and in the Palestinian agricultural sector. Olive groves spread over 900,000 square kilometers in Judea and Samaria, which is approximately 40% of all land used for agriculture in the area.
The olive industry provides livelihood for over 100,000 Palestinian families, which account for more than 500,000 people. In a plentiful season such as this year’s, the harvest provided 3,600,000 working days, compared to1,700,000 work days during the low season. These figures refer not only to harvesters, but to the marketing of the produce, the olive oil soap industry, the manufacturing of "jeffet" as burning material and the use of olive trees for art products, such as Christian souvenirs made in Bethlehem.
The harvest, which began on October 5, yielded approximately 24,000 tons of olive oil, making it a plentiful harvest season compared to last year’s 8000 ton yield. 114,000 tons of olives were harvested (compared to 41,000 tons last year), 7,000 of which will be pickled and 107,000 are designated for use in the production of olive oil.
An estimated 7,000 tons of the olive oil produced will be marketed in Israel.
Revenues for the Palestinian economy from the harvest this year are estimated at over 140 million U.S. dollars.