Since mid-June 2007, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) imposed a total closure policy including tightening its stranglehold on the economy of the Gaza Strip as well as the imposition of severe restrictions on Gaza’s imports and exports. The policy of bulldozing farms and the destruction of agricultural property adopted by IOF has skewed the agricultural sector. A sector unable to develop due to the excessive destruction of agricultural land and establishments, irrigating networks, water pumps, water wells, agricultural stores, greenhouses and livestock.
IOF have imposed severe restrictions on the import needs of the agricultural sector including raw materials and agricultural equipment. They have also imposed a near total ban on agricultural products for export. These measures have resulted in the deterioration of the agricultural sector and thousands of
Palestinian farmers have been denied their right to work freely. These policies form part of the collective punishment imposed on the civilian population and constitutes a grave violation of international humanitarian law, including the Fourth 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war. It has affected various aspects of Palestinian life and resulted in major deterioration at the different levels of Palestinian farmers’ lives in the Gaza Strip who are experiencing high rates of unemployment and poverty.
This report observes the impact of the total closure policy that has been imposed by IOF on the agricultural sector in Gaza since mid-June 2007. It addresses the impact of this policy on the various aspects of the agricultural sector, especially the losses experienced as a result of the suspension of the
exportation of agricultural products to external markets during the agricultural season (from November 2010 to April 2011). The following is a summary of the report: