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Gaza farmers unable to export produce

Agriculture in Gaza is suffering after the Israeli decision to ban vegetable exports from the Strip to the West Bank.
A Palestinian labourer holds up a box of freshly picked strawberries, intended for export, on a farm in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip December 7, 2011. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: AGRICULTURE FOOD SOCIETY BUSINESS) - RTR2UY5X
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RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s farmers have increasingly suffered since the Israeli siege was first imposed in 2006. Despite the Ministry of Agriculture’s announcement of self-sufficiency, the fluctuation of international support and Israel preventing the exportation of agricultural products have destroyed the only source of livelihood for farmers, especially after the recent war.

In the western part of Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli reconnaissance planes never stopped their sweeps over the vast agricultural land, where only one farmer was planting flowers. Al-Monitor's correspondent handpicked the last of the clove flowers that once flourished in the Strip — which was famous for exporting flowers around the world — before the farmers stopped planting them due to the lack of Dutch support for this year.

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