Monday, July 26, 2010

Let them eat strawberries

"Now, however, Abdulfattah and other farmers in Gaza are being forced by Israel to abandon their crops yet again, although this time there is no recourse in shifting production to another, "safer," fruit or vegetable. Under the current form of the illegal Israeli-imposed closure, farmers in Gaza can no longer export their produce outside the Gaza Strip, and they are facing further restrictions on the types and amounts of products they can grow. The effects have been disastrous. Before the imposition of the total closure of the Gaza Strip on 14 June 2007 -- itself only a more stringent form of a closure policy in place since the early 1990s -- the Gaza Strip produced almost 400,000 tons of agricultural products annually, one third of which was intended for export. Despite the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which set a target for exports for Gaza at 400 trucks per day, only 259 trucks have left the Gaza Strip with goods in the last three years. Accordingly, since 2007, farmers in Gaza have reported a 40 percent decrease in income: in 2008 alone, farmers in the Gaza Strip lost an estimated US $6.5 million."

Israel forced a complete change in the local food systems of Gaza when it occupied it, and now it is destroying whatever remains of it.

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