Fayyad olives 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Ismail Haniyeh and Salam Fayyad, prime ministers of rival Hamas and Palestinian Authority governments, both turned up Saturday to be photographed picking olives to mark the beginning of the harvest.
Haniyeh donned a baseball cap as he plucked green olives, while Fayyad
wrapped a traditional peasant's scarf around his head and climbed a
ladder in the West Bank village of Iraq Burin.
Olives are a staple of Palestinian cooking, used for food and oil, and
Palestinians are sensitive about their trees, which can live for
hundreds of years. The olive tree is also viewed as a symbol of the
Palestinians determination to remain in their homeland.
Collectively, Palestinians own about 15 million olive trees, according
to Salah al-Baba of the Palestinian Agricultural Ministry.