When Your Farm Becomes a War Zone
Their homes have been declared part of the battlefield. But with nowhere else to go, these Palestinian farmers eke out a living under the constant threat of destruction.
Photos by Jošt Franko
“Remember where there used to be trees full of clementines, and peaches, and olives here? Remember?” five-year-old Zain asks. “The soldiers took them,” he explains. Like most local farmers, Zain’s father, Sami Qudaih, cannot afford to buy his family a new home and cultivate land in a safer part of the Gaza Strip; they have to build and rebuild their home, time after time, on land close to the border with Israel, where sniper towers surround children’s playgrounds. On this land, one of the most dangerous parts of war-torn Gaza, Palestinian famers like the Qudaihs struggle to make a living in agriculture.
These farmers cultivate olives, oranges, strawberries and more. They used to export their products abroad, until Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade around the Gaza Strip after Hamas came to power in 2006. Israel and Egypt established a “Buffer Zone” along their borders with Gaza to stop the stream of militants and weapons. An estimated eight hundred homes were dest…
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