The Israeli occupation's Ministry of Agriculture destroyed tons of strawberries coming from Gaza, claiming that they did not meet health standards; However, Israeli media broadcasted protests by Israeli farmers, who claimed that Gaza strawberries were affecting their sales.
Usually, the strawberries decorate fruit dishes, but in Israel, they are destroyed and dumped for only one unjustified reason, because it is from Gaza Strip.
Over the course of several years, and specifically before the blockade, Gaza exported the best types of strawberries to different world's countries, where its climate and soil are known as the best suited for growing strawberries, especially the Beit Lahiya area, north of the Gaza Strip.
Akram Abu Khoussa, a strawberry farmer from the Gaza Strip, said that we are strawberry farmers who have obtained GLOBALG.A.P. Certification so that we can produce our products free of pesticides and in conformity with European specifications.
He added that we used to market our products to European countries, but the Israeli blockade and occupation impede this matter.
The West Bank relies on the Gaza Strip’s production of strawberries to a large extent, and that is a sufficient reason for the Israeli authorities to oppose the Palestinian product.
Tariq Abu Laban, Assistant Undersecretary for the Economic Sector at the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, said that I am surprised at these Israeli claims in this context because the Gaza strawberry was and still the best in terms of quality and safety.
We have received quantities in recent years that meet the best specifications, but the Israeli claims are only to protect the Israeli product and to monopolize the markets in the West Bank at the expense of the Palestinian product, he added.
Recently, some farmers have developed this type of agriculture in the occupied West Bank.
Hassanein, who inherited the love of the land from his parents, says that this cultivation began as a dream, but today it has results that he did not expect.
And after perseverance, he added, we were able to produce high-quality quantities of strawberries, but had it not been for the Israeli obstacles, we would have been able to export them abroad.
From Gaza to the West Bank, the Palestinian farmer has succeeded in producing the finest strawberries, to cover the needs of the Palestinian market, and even to export to the countries of the world were it not for the barriers of the Israeli occupation and its military and economic obstacles.