There’s a Palestinian saying that when two people have a good relationship, they are like the oil in the olive — inseparable unless they’re squeezed.
The same might be said of Fawzi Haj Ibrahim Mohammad and his olive groves — squeezed though the two have been. Mohammad, a 57-year-old Palestinian farmer, was born the year that his trees were planted by his father, in 1958. Over the last six and a half decades, through war, occupation and intifada, Mohammad has been separated from and reunited with his trees many times. In October, for the second time this year, the Israeli military granted him permission to return to his groves.
Even as violence erupts elsewhere, the olive harvest remains an annual tradition in these parts, when Palestinians gather in the rust-colored fields and even on tree-lined city sidewalks to pluck the black and green fruit. The harvest stretches from the first October rain through mid-November, after which wedding season begins, financed by olive profits. The harvest is a major source of income for Palestinians, but also a concrete expression of their ties to the land. Many farmers harvest from trees that have been in the family for 500 years, and they plant new trees for future generations.One Man's Harvest Is Another's Freedom Struggle or Olives, Politics and Palestinians,