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Olive harvesting begins in Gaza amid the crippling Israeli blockade

Ashraf Shannon
Press TV, Gaza

Gaza’s olive industry continues to suffer amid the Israeli blockade. With the start of the olive season there is hardly enough olives to cater to the local market.

The olive harvest season has started in the Gaza Strip and farmers are picking olives on their land to provide for their families. Their harvest provided work for nearly twenty five thousand seasonal laborers in past decades.

The olive industry suffered a major setback during years of Israeli blockade and the razing of trees by Israeli tanks and bulldozers. Gazan farmers used to pick olives for nearly two months beginning in mid October of each year but now the harvesting time lasts for less than two weeks.

The Israeli destruction of agricultural land and especially olive trees has been a systematic Israeli policy for many years. According to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees Israel's illegal practices will only worsen the already dire economic situation of Gazan farmers.

The Gaza Strip olives and olive oil were considered among the best in the world. Olive farmers spend most of the year taking care of their orchards hoping for the best results.

Gazan farmers have long been struggling to make ends meet due to the Israeli occupation.

Before the Israeli blockade, Gaza used to export olives and olive oil. Now, people here have to import them as Israel has crippled this traditional industry.

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