Agricultural Sector losses as a result of the Israeli Aggression against Gaza Strip

Press release from the Palestinian Farmers Union (PFU)

Thursday, 15 January 2009, Ramallah-Gaza Strip
The fierce Israeli attack against Gaza Strip has lead to the destruction of all sectors, starting from human beings till stone; this attack has lead to a complete destruction of the agriculture sector facilities starting from land bulldozing to irrigation networks till trees uprooting and crops damages, the demolish of Green houses and variety of livestock shelter. Noting that Gaza Strip has a total of 70000 dunums of agricultural land with the capacity up to produce 280,000 to 300000 tons of agricultural products annually, one third of these products are crops for export.

the agricultural sector provides permanent and temporary jobs for more than 40000 people in the Gaza Strip (representing 12.7% of the workforce) and provides food and life for a quarter of the population living in the Gaza Strip. Since the imposition of the comprehensive siege on the Gaza Strip the occupation prevented the export of any products, including the agricultural products, the occupation had also prohibited to enter any seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, which led to significant losses for agricultural sector as the initial estimations since June until the end of February 2008 are more than 85 million dollars.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture data, the average of the daily losses due to farmers inability to export their products is 150 thousand dollars daily, which means the total losses resulting from the inability to export during the past month is up to $ 42 million, about 25000 tons of potatoes and more of 10000 tons of other crops were damaged or sold in the domestic market at lower prices than export prices (local prices were 10% to 15% less than export prices).

While crops farmers faced direct losses from selling their products in local markets and farmers were affected by the flooding of the local market in which goods were destined for export, and it is expected that the total products in the last season to about 20% to 30% less than the previous season, with an estimated monthly loss of 10 million dollars a month.

The estimated number of workers in this season more than 7500 farms dependent production of approximately $ 14 million dollars in the whole export, where the cultivated area of 3130 dunums of agricultural land, cloves, strawberry and tomato.

On the other hand, as a direct result of the occupation restricting  procedures on the movement of the fishing sector, the estimated monthly loss for more than 3 thousand fishing workers is 3 million dollars.

In addition to that the remaining of the agricultural sector after the siege was destroyed throughout the fierce war waged by Israeli occupation forces is conducting Gaza Strip, which has been classified as a genocide war . PFU teams in Gaza Strip could, in spite of the difficult conditions our people are facing there, monitor a part of those losses, which are able to increase each moment, these losses are classified as the following:

type of losses
1 – fruitful trees (citrus, olives, and fruit): 5150 Dunums
2 – irrigation networks:  5150 Dunums
3- Completely destroyed agricultural greenhouses : 450 Dunums
4-  completely destroyed greenhouses of the agricultural land liberated(settlements previously) : 700 Dunums
5- partially destroyed agricultural greenhouses : 225 Dunums
6-  main water pipelines for irrigation purposes  110 mm : 47,500 meters
7-  Completely destroyed water wells : 185 wells
8-  A complete destruction  of cement pools for gathering water: 230 pools
9- Bulldozing grain crops: 4900 Dunums
10- Non protected vegetable crops: 4450 Dunums
11-  The destruction of poultry farms (the average of  each farm is 100-500 hens): 175 farms
12-  A complete destruction  of cattle and sheep farms (the average of  farms is between 5-200 heads): 285 farms
13-  A complete destruction  of rabbit farms: 85 farms
14- duck farms: 15 farms
15-  water tanks 1000 – 1500 L  : 680 tanks
16-  Warehouse to store agricultural tools: 125 warehouses
17-  Destroyed tree nurseries: 16 nurseries
18- Agricultural Roads: 75 km
19-  strawberry crop : 2000 Dunums
20- 30 Martyrs  were killed while working in their lands

Therefore, We appeal to Arabic and foreign Farmers Unions in all over the world and all our friends and international Development organizations to raise funds  to help us to rebuild what was destroyed by Israeli war machine, especially in the fields of the agricultural sector infrastructure mentioned in the above table, and we in the Palestinian Farmers Union, announce the continuation of emergency state, as PFU teams in all the sites of Gaza Strip districts started the work on documenting the sizes of losses which are increasing every hour by the act of the Israeli aggression. During the upcoming days we will provide you the new statistics that we will gather through the PFU campaign working teams and volunteers in Gaza Strip.

PFU has open a special bank account for the campaign to contribute in rebuilding what has been destructed of the agricultural sector

Our bank account is:

Name of the bank
Bank of Palestine Ltd
Address of the bank

Ramallah Branch Ramallah- Gaza, West Bank, Palestinian Territories
Swift code:                         PALSPS22
Routing No:                        89-458
Name of accountholder     Palestinian Farmers Union
Account number                0214358  sub account 8 (Euro or dollar)
Address                              Ramallah, West Bank,
Code/Place                         00970/the West Bank/ Ramallah
Country                              Palestinian Territories

Our USD Correspondent:

Intermediate  bank:                 Swift code    CHASUS33
Name of the bank                    JPMorgan Chase Bank
Address of the bank                 New York,
Code/Place/Country                  U.S.A

Phone: + 970 22971354-
Fax: + 970 2 2971358