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Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

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Olive oil from the Monastery of St John of Jerusalem at Tantur

Feb 20, 2016

In November 2015, for the first time in decades, the Sovereign Order of Malta harvested the olive grove on its own land at the Monastery of St John of Jerusalem at Tantur, on the road between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The olives were harvested by local workers and volunteers.

The olive oil was pressed in a community press in the Deheshieh refugee camp in Bethlehem, and earlier this week it was bottled by a Palestinian NGO which will also label it, package and ship it to Lourdes in time for our yearly Pilgrimage, where members, friends and supporters of the Order Of Malta can purchase their own bottle, thereby enjoying extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality, participating in the earliest history of the Order, and supporting. the humanitarian work of the Order of Malta in the Holy Land. 

 

Palestine has some of the oldest olive trees in the world, dating back 4000 years. Our trees in Tantour are believed to be around 1000 years old and grow within the reputed Beit-Jalal region, known for its high quality olive oils. Traditionally the trees stay within families and get passed down generations and in November every year, families come together to harvest the olives. In addition to the cultural importance of the trees they also provide a main source of income for over 80.000 Palestinian families, account for 48% of cultivated land and contribute to about 14% to the Palestinian economy according to UN sources.

 

 

 

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