The Arab Network for Food Sovereignty warned that the continued systematic assault on agricultural lands by the occupation puts the people of Gaza in danger of starvation and threatens nearly 20 thousand farmers in Gaza with the collapse of their businesses.
The network said in a statement that there were losses and damages to the agricultural sector that exceed $200 million reported 11 days after the bombing began. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, losses are a result of the intensive bombing of hundreds of dunams and dozens of agricultural facilities.
In its statement, the network made a number of demands, foremost of which is for the international community to use all available documents to pressure the Israeli entity to stop its brutal war on Gaza and its agricultural sector, to lift the unjust siege immediately, and to criminalize the use of food and water as a weapon of war.
Statement on behalf of the Arab Network for Food Sovereignty on the brutal Israeli aggression on Gaza
Firstly, we stand in reverence for the heroism and sacrifices of the Palestinian people, and we salute their steadfastness. We declare our unconditional support for their valiant resistance against Zionist aggression and vicious crimes.
Israel is not only targeting innocent people in their homes but also bombing and destroying agricultural infrastructure and land along the areas bordering the strip to starve Gaza, whose majority depend on agriculture and women's small development projects.
Losses and damages to the agricultural sector have exceeded the value of $27 million in only 10 days since the aggression began. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Agriculture, these losses multiply every day due to the continuous bombing of hundreds of dunums and tens of agricultural establishments and targeting stores and warehouses of agricultural products and supplies.
The systematic attack on agricultural lands threatens the people of Gaza with starvation due to the destruction of the local food system there, especially as it is a system that suffers from a chronic state of crisis as a result of an unjust blockade and the COVID 19 pandemic.
Continuous Israeli violations threaten nearly 20 thousand farmers in Gaza. Around 95% of these are small farmers whose ownership of land ranges between 1-3 dunums. In most cases, members of the family are the ones who do the farming to compensate for the cost of production. About 5% of these farmers are women who are the head of their household.
In addition to challenges faced by farmers, around 4000 fishers are deprived of their most basic right to reach the port and continue fishing. Israel blocks their access to the sea and destroys their boats, property, and tools.
In light of these dangerous developments, we call on the international community to use all documentation available to pressure Israeli to stop its brutal war on Gaza and its agricultural sector, to lift the unjust blockade immediately, and to criminalize the use of food and water as a weapon in this war. We also call on all international institutions and human rights and civil society organizations around the world to mobilize efforts to rehabilitate infrastructure that has been destroyed so farmers can exercise their right to access their lands, care for their crops, and provide food to the residents of Gaza during this crisis.
We conclude our statement by calling on Arab governments to take the initiative to stop all forms of normalization with the Zionist enemy. We also call on the countries of the world to consider Israel a racist entity that must be boycotted.