Siege of Gaza squeezes life out of the land

The field is planted with shoulder-high rows of corn and is so close to Israel that the tall concrete boundary wall is well within sight, along with the Israeli military jeeps on their regular patrols into northern Gaza.

For Abid Razzaq Ouda, 40, who farms this land, this brings its own complications. His field is sometimes used by Palestinian militants to fire rockets or mortars into southern Israel and the Israeli military mounts so many operations here that the farmers dare not risk going out at night for fear of being hit.

Last month, after militants used the field for a rocket attack, the Israeli military sent in armoured bulldozers which carved sweeping paths through his corn, tearing down the crops and wrecking the extensive plastic irrigation pipes. Then a bulldozer demolished the cement hut housing the water pump in the corner of the field. Ouda, still heavily in debt from the shortfall in his earlier strawberry crop, has no money to repair the pump and so this season’s half-matured corn is already lost.

(Continue reading: The Guardian)

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Posted in Israel, Palestinian Territories, US - Israel relations

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