For the fifth season, the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine (JAI) and the Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) are organizing the annual Olive Picking Program in Palestine which takes place from the 25th of October to the 3rd of November 2008.
The objective of this program is to mobilize international volunteers to assist in picking olive in fields that are situated in proximity of Israeli settlements and bypass roads. In these areas, an international presence is often needed in order to help Palestinian farmers to access their olive groves which are in danger of being confiscated.
This year more than 75 internationals are participating, from various nationalities and countries all over the world, who have been divided in two buses as two groups, Group A and Group B, with two different schedules.
Daily schedule and updates:
- Saturday 25/10/2008: Arrival at the airport and transfer to Bethlehem to meet representatives from the organizing institutions for an overview and discussion of the program.
- Day one - Sunday 26/10/2008:
Half day picking olives at a field in Jaba'a village near Bethlehem, tour inside Aida Refugee Camp, witnessing the Wall and its effects. Nativity Church then YMCA in Beit Sahour for a tour and briefing on the JAI work and campaigns.
Half day olive picking at Khallet Eskaria village near Bethlehem, with an Arab Satelite TV channel reporters covering and soldiers intervention, Church of Nativity, Dhaisha Refugee Camp, YMCA in Beit Sahour for a tour on its work and programs.
- Day Two - Monday 27/10/2008:
Jerusalem day: ICAHD Wall and Settlements tour, and Jerusalem old city guided tour
Hebron day: Old city tour, watching roadblocks and city division, CPT team guided tour, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, glas factory, monitoring flying checkpoints.
- Day Three - Tuesday 28/10/2008:
Hebron old city tour, divided and closed areas, closed markets, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, Ibrahimi Mosque, Glass Factory.
Tour in the Old City of Jerusalem followed by a settlement and Wall tour around Jerusalem with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
- Day Four - Wednesday 29/10/2008:
Olive picking in Nua'man village, west of Beit Sahour. Badil visit, meeting and briefing with questions on the Palestinian Refugees issue.
Group forbidden form entering a field a settlement is built on. Olive picking at a field just outside the settlement. Wall and land confiscation presentation at ARIJ.
- Day Five - Thursday 30/10/2008: The first Palestinian International Advocacy Seminar.
- Day Six - Friday 31/10/2008:
Whole day olivep icking in Nahhalin.
Whole day olive picking in Beit Jala
- Day Seven - Saturday 01/11/2008:
Olive picking in Teqou, interaction with soldiers and settlers, Herodion Palace, Arij presentation on wall and settlements.
Olive picking in Nahhalin village, Badil visit and refugees issue, olive press visit
- Day Eight - Sunday 02/11/2008: Last Day
Half day olive picking in Beit Jala, free afternoon, evaluation session, music concertand farwell dinner.
Wall paining in Oush Ghrab, free afternoon, evaluation session, music concertand farwell dinner.
- Day Nine - Monday 03/11/2008: Transfer to the airport for departure.