Israel war brings Gaza’s food production to halt: FAO

Israel war brings Gaza’s food production to halt: FAO
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:29:06

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says Israel’s offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip has adversely affected agricultural infrastructure in the coastal enclave and brought food production to a halt there.

FAO said on Thursday that the Palestinian agricultural fields have become a main target in the Israeli attacks, and Gaza’s agricultural infrastructure, including many  crops, greenhouses, trees, irrigation systems, animal farms, fodder stocks and fishing boats, has been destroyed.

FAO also warned that most of the Palestinian farmers and herders have abandoned their farms due to heavy destruction wreaked on them by the Israeli attacks.

The UN food organization further noted that the Israeli onslaught has made life a misery by crippling food production in the blockaded sliver.

"Up to now, ongoing military operations have prevented detailed assessments of damages to agriculture from being completed," said Ciro Fiorillo, head of FAO's office in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

"Under the most recent cease-fire, many farmers and herders are now able to access their lands, however resumption of food production faces serious obstacles given the damages sustained and shortages of water, electricity, inputs and financial resources, as well as ongoing uncertainty regarding the possible resumption of military activities," Fiorillo stated.

On Wednesday, Israel and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas agreed to extend a temporary truce in Gaza for five more days as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators continued talks to reach a long-term deal in the Egyptian capital Cairo.

The UN food body also pointed out that the malady caused by Tel Aviv regime in the besieged territory has led to the rise in prices.

FAO further stated that as soon as a permanent truce is established between Israel and Hamas, it will run a special plan in the blockaded territory to revive its agricultural infrastructure.

"We have a program that supports the resilience of agriculture-based livelihoods of Gaza fishermen, herders and farmers," said Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO’s regional representative for the Near East and North Africa, adding, "We need to get this back on track as soon as hostilities cease, to promote not just survival of Gaza's people but their self-reliant development."

Israel launched the latest war against the blockaded Gaza Strip on July 8. Nearly 1,962 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have so far lost their lives and at least 10,100 have been injured in the Israeli war.

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