Palestinians Face Food and Water Crisis in the West Bank Spurred by Israeli Control of Resources
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Palestinian farmers that have tended their land for decades, if not generations, often find their homes on one side of the wall and their land on the other. To cross the barrier and access their crops, farmers need to obtain special permits from the Israeli authorities. As a result, Palestinian farmers can often only spend a few days per year with their crops—which is not nearly enough time.
If farmers are able to harvest their crops, in order to sell them in Israel—and often other parts of the West Bank— they are forced to wait for hours at checkpoints, and are often denied entry. Sometimes they are able to transfer their produce across the border—but this is time consuming and expensive. Most times they return home, unable to sell their crops.
Many farmers have been forced to give up their land and seek another form of livelihood.
For Palestinians, owning land is not only an essential component of their livelihoods, but also a point of pride. Land is passed down through generations—sowing seed in the land and reaping the harvest is a cultural ritual that honors the family and ones identity and heritage as a Palestinian. When Palestinian land is stolen and starved, it is not simply Palestinian livelihoods that are being attacked but also centuries of Palestinian tradition, identity and honor.
Anna Lekas Miller interned at The Nation in Summer 2011. She writes about a variety of issues ranging from Palestine and The Middle East to sex education and reproductive health. You can follow her on Twitter, @agoodcuppa.