Palestinians Work to Cultivate Food Sovereignty in the Face of Israeli Apartheid

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For Palestinian farmers, cultivating the land goes hand in hand with protecting it from colonial confiscation.

“We go back to the land as a refuge whenever there is a crisis. It’s natural, because it’s clear that the land is our mother,” said Farid Tamallah, an environmental activist and founder of Souq al-Fallahin, a local market connecting farmers directly to the consumer public in the West Bank. “After two years of a global pandemic, the question of food security has returned to the forefront, driving young farmers back to agriculture.

In recent years, Palestinian environmental activists have been calling on farmers to adhere to agroecological principles, defining them as a social movement advocating for a set of practices that address the ecological, socio-cultural, economic, and political factors that shape food systems, from production to consumption.

Economic adversities have been aggravated by the recent price hike in agricultural products, which has turned many farmers away from agriculture to pursue better-paying jobs in illegal Israeli settlements, often as industrial and construction workers. Agriculture, therefore, has witnessed a drop in its contribution to the GDP of the Palestinian economy, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics .

dating back to 1500-1300 BCE — are more appropriate to the semi-arid climate of most of the West Bank., which preserves 47 different varieties of Palestinian heirloom seeds. These are traditional seeds that are not genetically modified and are drought-resistant. They are not only good for the health of agriculture in a global perspective, but are also necessary for Palestinian farmers in their current circumstances. Sansour believes that “with every seed we plant, we achieve more autonomy.

Asfour, like many farmers in the West Bank, has been exposed to several Israeli settler attacks, who are often accompanied by an Israeli army escort. “Then the Israeli army prohibited us from selling, for security reasons,” Asfour said. Although his participation in the market facilitated access to consumers once a week, there remain a number of fundamental challenges, namely the high production cost and the unfair competition with cheaper Israeli produce.

 

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Any country with a wall like that is an apartheid state. That picture depicts what Israel is all about. BDS!

Any country with a wall like that is an apartheid state. That picture depicts what Israel is all about. BDS!

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