Cooperation between farmers from Gaza and Israel goes unreported by the BBC

Anyone getting their news from the BBC will have missed out on this inspiring story of cooperation between Israeli and Gazan farmers. 

A month and a half after Operation Pillar of Cloud, on January 3rd 2013, thirty farmers from Gaza were given permits to enter Israel in order to attend an agricultural exhibition held in the Eshkol Regional Council: one of the areas most badly hit by terrorists’ rockets and mortars. 

The visitors checked out new technologies, equipment and placed orders for new strains of plants. Ramadan Abu Naja from the Gaza Strip told an interviewer:

“We came here to learn about Israeli agriculture, to see if they have new types of produce. We will take some of the types of produce that we like back with us into Gaza. We are here to see the differences between our agriculture and the agriculture in Israel.”

ימשיכו לעשות עסקים. חקלאים עזתים בתערוכה (צילום: הרצל יוסף)
Photo: Herzl Yosef

The farmers also spoke about their export industry:

“Gaza exports produce to Europe every day,” Ahmed Shafi, head of the Gaza City Agricultural Association told Ynet. “We export peppers, strawberries, flowers, cherry tomatoes and spices.”

“The Strip’s farmers say they have no problem doing business with their Israeli colleagues. “We want to keep coordinating exports with Israel and even export to Israel,” one of the farmers who visited the expo told Ynet.”

“Israel used to be Gaza’s best and biggest market. The Palestinian farmers said that even if Egypt opens the Rafah crossing to exports from Gaza, they would still prefer to export their goods through Israel, because they trust Israel’s facilities more.”

Photo: Herzl Yosef

Why doesn’t the BBC let Palestinian voices like these be heard? 

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