A program for Civil International Solidarity with Palestinians

 3-12 February, 2018

 

The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) and the JAI are organizing the 9th Olive Planting Program - February 2018.

On behalf of the ATG and JAI, we would love to invite you to participate in the 9th annual olive planting program, which will take place from 4-13 February 2017.
Agricultural experts in Palestine estimate that over a million olive trees have been uprooted and destroyed by Israel since it was created in 1948. More than half of these olive trees were uprooted and destroyed in the past decade.

Disrespecting its religious, cultural, natural, nutritious and economic value, the olive tree has been a constant target of the Israeli military occupation under the guise of security, the construction of the Wall on Palestinian lands and the continuous expansion of Israeli - Jewish only - colonies (settlements). The destruction of olive trees has had intentional and destructive results on the lives of many Palestinian farmers, land owners and the Palestinian population in general.

For these reasons and many others, the Olive Tree Campaign was launched in 2001 as a positive response to systematic destruction by addressing the needs of the effected farmers. The Olive Tree Campaign uses the olive tree as a tool to advocate for the Palestinians right to peace with justice. So far 10 seasons of planting have helped hundreds of Palestinian farmers and brought awareness to the expanding international network of friends and partners about the real life of the Palestinians who have been striving for peace with justice for more than 67 years. You are all encouraged to pass the word about this event to people who might be interested come to Palestine and to participate.

Besides olive planting, the program features introductory presentations about the current situation in Palestine and the effects of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, as well as Ramallah, in addition to cultural events and social gatherings.

Proposed daily schedule (subjected to minor changes)

  • Saturday, Feb 3, Day 1: Arrival to the airport and travel to Bethlehem to meet representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program, and briefing about the JAI and ATG.
  • Sunday, Feb 4, Day 2: Guided tour in Bethlehem: site-seeing, introduction to the town, Wall, Refugee camp tour, Bethlehem old city, Church of Nativity.
  • Monday, Feb 5, Day 3: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon presentation and discussion with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees' Rights.
  • Tuesday, Feb 6, Day 4: Visiting East Jerusalem: A tour in the old city of Jerusalem to visit the main sites in the city. Lunch. In the afternoon there will be a guided tour to witness settlements, house demolition and Bedouins in Jerusalem with Israeli group/activists.
  • Wednesday, Feb 7, Day 5: free day
  • Thursday, Feb 8, Day 6: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Meeting with the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) for a presentation on the Israeli Apartheid Wall and land expropriation by Israeli authorities.
  • Friday, Feb 9 Day 7: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon visit to an olive wood carving factory/workshop. Late afternoon advocacy and future work session with the Joint Advocacy Initiative.
  • Saturday, Feb 10, Day 8: Hebron Day: A tour in the old city of Hebron to visit the Ibrahimi Mosque, es-souq (the market), and to see the Israeli division of Hebron and the Israeli settlers who occupy the center of the city. Visit Scarfs (Koufiyyeh) and Glass factories.
  • Sunday, Feb 11, Day 9: Half day planting trees at selected field, followed by lunch. Afternoon general comments and evaluation session, followed by a musical evening and farewell with staff members and volunteers. Overnight in Bethlehem.
  • Monday, Feb 12, Day 10: Departure

More Information:

  • The cost of the program including accommodation in a double room, meals, guides, local transportation, meetings and other relevant expenses is $700 per person. Single supplement costs $200.
  • Accommodation can be arranged at a hotel or with a local family.
  • A tour guide will be present with the group at all times for facilitation purposes.
  • Travel from and to the airport is not included in the cost but can be arranged for groups.

For any other information, questions, concerns, or to request a registration form, please contact:

  • Jawad Musleh, Alternative Tourism Group, program coordinator, via email at: jawad@atg.ps or by phone at (+970) 2 2772151


We hope to have you with us!

Olive Picking Program 2017

A program for Civil International Solidarity with Palestinians
The Alternative Tourism Group
and the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine

For the past 15 years, the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) and the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine (JAI) have been organizing an annual olive picking program in Palestine; a special event where support for Palestinian farmers is provided as well as granting an opportunity to people from around the world to experience Palestine under the Israeli military occupation.
Since the year 2000, the olive harvest has been overshadowed by the Israeli policies of repression, closure, blockage of streets, confiscation of agricultural lands, as well as repeated attacks against Palestinian farmers by Israeli settlers and military. Now with the construction the Apartheid Wall and the continuous expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of agricultural land in the occupied Palestine, many farmers are separated from their trees, and help is most needed.
Buildings on experience from previous years, the JAI and the ATG have planned a program for civil international solidarity with Palestinian people and farmers. The objective of this program is to mobilize as many people as possible for olive picking, especially in areas that are situated in proximity to Israeli settlements and bypass roads, in order to help Palestinian farmers harvest their olive trees which they might be unable to do without international support. Also, the event has brought up awareness to hundreds of people from many countries around the world about real life under the Israeli Military Occupation, and the experience itself was referred to by several participants as a life changing one.
Besides picking olives, the program will feature introductory presentations about the organizing institutions, the current situation in Palestine and the effect of the Apartheid Wall, tours in the old city of Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, a tour of Hebron, cultural evenings and social gatherings.

Proposed schedule
14-23 October 2017

 

Day 1 - Saturday, 14 October: Arrival. Meeting representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program.
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel in Beit Sahour (near Bethlehem)

Day 2 - Sunday, 15 October: Half day picking olives at a selected field.
After lunch, political tour and sightseeing in Bethlehem, including a visit to a refugee camp. 
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel in Beit Sahour

Day 3 - Monday, 16 October: A tour in the city of Hebron. Visiting the Ibrahimi Mosque, the old city, Ashuhada  Street. Lunch. Visiting a glass factory. Free time. 
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 4 - Tuesday, 17 October: Half day picking olives at a selected field, followed by lunch in the field. A presentation on the refugee questions with BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugees' Rights.
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 5 - Wednesday, 18 October: free day.
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 6 - Thursday, 19 October: Half day picking olives at a selected field, followed by lunch. Meeting at The Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) for a presentation on the Apartheid Wall and land confiscation. Visiting an olive press. 
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 7 - Friday, 20 October: a full day of picking olives at a selected field, lunch included. 
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 8 - Saturday, 21 October: Tour in the Old City of Jerusalem. Lunch, followed by a settlement tour around Jerusalem: colonies, segregation Wall, house demolitions, expropriation of lands.
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 9 - Sunday, 22 October: Half day picking olives at a field. Lunch. Evaluation meeting with institutions' representatives, followed by a musical evening.
Dinner and overnight at Sahara Hotel

Day 10 - Monday, 23 October: Departure.

 

More Information:

  • The cost of the program including accommodation in a double room, meals, guides, transportation and other relevant expenses is US$700. Single occupancy costs $200.
  • Accommodation can be arranged at a hotel or with a local family.
  •  A guide will be present with the group at all times for facilitation purposes.
  •  Travel from and to the airport is not included in the cost but can be arranged for groups.

For any other information, questions, concerns, or to request a registration form, please contact:
Jawad Musleh, Alternative Tourism Group, program coordinator, via email at:jawad@atg.ps or by phone at (+970) 2 2772151

We hope to have you with us!