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  • 10/11/2011

Israeli siege harms Gaza olive cultivation

israeli siege harms gaza olive cultivation
Olive cultivation and its related businesses in the Gaza Strip have been severely damaged due to Israel’s invasions and its long-time blockade of the impoverished coastal sliver, Press TV reports.

Olive farmers say while harvest seasons used to take about two months in the past, the season lasts less than a week in recent years, as Israel’s use of white phosphorous shells on the Gaza Strip has caused permanent damage to the trees.

Olives of the Gaza Strip are considered to be among the most high-quality worldwide.

The harvest used to provide seasonal employment for an estimated 25,000 workers in the Gaza Strip, but now only a few hundred people work in olive harvesting.

Besides the effects of the white phosphorus, olive groves are frequently razed by Israeli forces who cross into Gaza every month.

One-third of Gaza’s most arable land lies within the no-go zone along the eastern border.

According to the Palestinian Authority’s ministry of agriculture, Israeli forces destroyed 114,000 olive trees in the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the Palestinian Intifada in 2000.

Olive oil pressers have also been affected by the poor cropping. They say, while Gaza was once a major exporter of olive oil, the region can no longer meet even its own domestic demands for the product.

Israel laid an economic siege on the impoverished costal sliver in June 2007, after Hamas took control of the enclave. The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Gaza Strip.

Some 1.5 million people are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.

Source: presstv.ir

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