Gaza, MINA – Farmers and traders from the Gaza Strip urgently appealed to human rights and international institutions and all parties concerned with the agricultural sector to pressure the occupation to open the Kerem Shalom crossing to export their agricultural products from Gaza to the West Bank abroad. Unfortunately, however, the Israeli occupation has placed several obstacles and impossible conditions for them to contend with.
According to MINA’s contributor in Gaza, farmers of the Gaza Strip suffered heavy financial losses due to the occupation’s systematic consecutive closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing and the prevention of the transfer of agricultural products from Gaza to other countries naturally.
Occupation Allows Partial Marketing and Exportation of Limited Products
After a closure that lasted for nearly 40 consecutive days, during which the brutal Israeli occupation prevented the transfer of any product from the Gaza Strip to foreign markets, they allowed the partial marketing and export of limited types of agricultural products yesterday, on Wednesday through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
Yesterday, the Israeli authorities partially opened the Kerem Shalom crossing, the only commercial crossing into the Gaza Strip.
The Ministry explained that 110 tons of vegetables were sold on the first day, including 30 tons of tomatoes. The Ministry’s technical staff did a follow-up and supervision on the sorting and packaging of agricultural exports. It secured all procedures and specifications related to the quality of export crops and ensured that all produce was free from diseases and pests.
Palestinian and Israeli officials said that opening the crossing comes within the limited facilities approved by the Israel occupation to export ready-made clothes and crops. At the same time, it restricts many products exported and imported from the Strip.
Israeli Occupation Imposes Impossible conditions on Farmers
The farmers were surprised by the impossible conditions imposed by the Israeli occupation on farmers and traders in the Gaza Strip. Farmers face a significant dilemma, presented by the occupation’s requirement, that tomatoes transported to the West Bank market must be removed.
The farmers consider this unfair condition that cannot be applied, which causes them significant economic damage. Furthermore, it raises the costs of removing the crowns of the fruit and the rapid spoilage of these fruits due to removing the green crowns that is the essential part of this fruit to keep it for a longer time.
In the same context, the farmers announced yesterday morning that they had stopped exporting their agricultural products due to the impossible conditions of the occupation.
In turn, the Ministry of Agriculture expressed its total rejection of the new obstacles and requirements of the occupation that changes the criteria for marketing some agricultural products through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
The Ministry of Agriculture warned that Gazans were enduring even more difficulties due to the farmers suffering heavy losses and their reluctance to farm due to the closure of the Kerem Shalom crossing. (L-K-G/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)