On Saturday, Palestinian Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad participated in picking olive trees in the West Bank village of Iraq Burin, near Nablus.Speaking to reporters, Dr. Fayyad said, ”[t]oday we are here to stand by our farmers at the beginning of the olive harvest because the harvest is of such importance to the Palestinian economy.”

He added that the olive tree is regarded as a symbol of the close ties between Palestinians and their lands, and the olive harvest is the main source of income for many Palestinian farmers. Fayyad emphasized that olive trees are a routine target of Israeli settlers who frequently perform acts of violence by burning, uprooting and damaging Palestinian trees.

He said that contrary to the settlers’ destructive intentions, such actions serve to increase the determination of Palestinians to hold on to their ancestral land in Palestine.