Israeli Blockade Strangling Gaza Agriculture
Mya Guarnieri, The Electronic Intifada, 29 October 2009
Recently, Israel announced that it would import palm fronds from the Gaza Strip for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The move came at the behest of Minister of Religious Services, Yakov Margi, who feared that a shortage of palm fronds and a local monopoly on the item would send prices skyrocketing for the Jewish holiday, which came in early October this year.
Before the holiday, palm fronds are in high demand as religiously observant Jews build thatched huts that commemorate the 40 years that, according to Biblical tradition, the ancient Hebrews wandered the desert. Once Sukkot begins, however, palm fronds are no longer needed.