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Friday Oct. 15, 2010 10:37 AM (EST+7)
OXFAM calls on Israel to lift restrictions on olive production

Read more: Oxfam, Palestinian farmers, olives, olive trees, farming, Palestinian agriculture, occupation, Palestinian economy

RAMALLAH, Oct. 15 (JMCC) - Oxfam international has called on Israel to ease restrictions on Palestinian farmers, which are 'stifling' the olive production industry, according to the AFP.

Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement, access to land, and the export of goods have all limited the potential of Palestinian production.

A report said the olive sector, which contributes up to 100 million dollars (71.4 million euros) in yearly income for some of the poorest Palestinian communities, could bring a brighter future for the Palestinian economy, provided its full potential is realised.

With limited investment, and simple changes in farming methods, Palestinian olive farmers could double their incomes and produce a consistent supply of high quality olive oil able to compete at home and abroad, Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International, was quoted as saying.

Yet, such investments can have little effect unless Israel, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, refrains from actions that restrict Palestinian farmers from access to their land and means of livelihoods, and to foreign markets, he added.

The report calls on Israel to end restrictions on access to land and to markets.

Physical barriers, such as checkpoints and road blocks, prevent the free movement of people and goods within the West Bank and cut Palestinian agricultural produce, including olives and olive oil, off from internal, Israeli and international markets, it says.

Palestinian farmers have also been the increasing victims of violence and vandalism from Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank. Olive groves are often burned in arson attacks, and sometimes uprooted or poisoned.

Read more at the AFP...






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