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Gaza florists facing extinction amid Israeli blockade

Gaza florists facing extinction amid Israeli blockade

Ghazi Hijazi is seen working in his greenhouse in Rafah. (Photo/Supplied) He faces many obstacles in order to sell his product in the local market, including reducing his workforce from 40 to three along with his four sons to manage costs RAFAH: Flower cultivation in Gaza is on the verge of extinction, due to the six-year long Israeli blockade and ban on exports, which has prompted dozens of farmers to switch to more popular corps. Ghazi Hijazi, 62, is the owner of the largest flower farm in Gaza, and is one of the few farmers still clinging to flower cultivation since he started in 1991. Despite his adherence to this agriculture, Hijazi was forced to reduce the area of the land he cultivates from 40 dunums to 10. He faces many obstacles in order to sell his product in the local market, including reducing his workforce from 40 to three along with his four sons to manage costs. “Because of the restrictions imposed by Israel on exports from Gaza, marketing is limited to the local, which is not comparable to what was achieved by exports to the Netherlands and the European market,” he told Arab News. Hijazi recalled the years of prosperity and openness before the imposition of the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip following the victory of Hamas in the second legislative elections in early 2006. Flowers of Gaza were second only to the Dutch in terms of quality, according to Hijazi, who said: “Israel has lost our flowers its international reputation.” He stressed that Gaza’s flowers maintained a position on the international stock exchange in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2013. But after Israel tightened its restrictions imposed on commercial crossings, this status declined, and international traders turned to other farms in the region. Ministry of […]

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