Gazan farmer to ‘Post’: We hope to work together with Israelis 'as one family'

“We are neighbors,” says Palestinian farmer, unnamed for security reasons; “We don’t like the war, we like peace.”

August 14, 2014 22:20
2 minute read.
gaza market

Palestinian shop at a market in Gaza City.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

While considering himself lucky that his home has endured no direct impact from the recent fighting, one Gazan farmer lamented the fact that the region’s agricultural fields had all but turned into a wasteland.

Unlike those of many of his neighbors, the farmer’s home and lands encountered no harm from the air raids or ground incursions that have taken place since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, he told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday night. Nonetheless, with no electricity or water available, as well as the risks associated with working in an open field, he said he had to all but abandon his crops.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

“There is a lot of damage,” he said.

As per the farmer’s request, and in order to protect his security at home, the Post elected to withhold his name and exact location.

Few people have been able to reach their farms to tend to them during the conflict, and harvests this season will only be minimal, he explained. Particularly affected were strawberry nurseries, which suffered from the lack of water, he added.

“This is a bad season for the farmers,” he said.

On the Israeli side of the border, farmers located within the Gaza periphery and other southern towns have also experienced heavy losses due to their widespread inability to work their fields under rocket fire.

The government, through the Tax Authority and the Agriculture Ministry, have launched new compensation programs for farmers located within a 40-kilometer radius of Gaza to receive payments for their losses.

It remains unclear as to whether the Palestinian Authority’s Agriculture Ministry or that of Hamas in Gaza will be providing any such compensation for Gazan farmers.

The Gazan farmer who spoke with the Post said he has about 1 hectare of farming land, while his family has about 10 hectares in total. Although he has stayed in his home rather than seeking shelter elsewhere throughout the conflict, he said that people are too afraid to attempt farming their fields.

Asked why he elected to remain home instead of following evacuation recommendations, the farmer simply told the Post, “I feel safe.”

Emphasizing that “the war is very bad” and that “all the people here are very sad,” the farmer expressed his and his friends’ wishes that “the war will be stopped” sooner rather than later.

“I hope that in the future everything will be solved between our friends,” he said.

The farmer said he would like to see a positive future, in which he can come to visit Israel freely and borders are open, stressing the need for supplies to construct new buildings.

“We are neighbors,” he said. “We don’t like the war, we like peace.”

“We hope to work together as one family, not as two families,” the farmer said.

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Iran Supreme Leader admits mistake regarding nuclear talks