Israel’s military “buffer zone” along the eastern and northern edge of the Gaza Strip eats up 30% of the territory’s arable land, the United Nations said this week.
Fieldworkers with the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) told the Christian Science Monitor that they have been unable to verify conditions in this 300-meter-wide band of land along the Green Line.
“We haven’t been able to visit this area. No organization has,” said Mohammed Al-Shattali, project manager for (FAO) in the Gaza, according to the newspaper.
“The war increased the amount of land destroyed, particularly in the border areas, and the farmers can’t replant anything because it’s too dangerous,” he told the Christian Science Monitor. “The Israeli soldiers, they shoot at everything – dogs, sheep. They are very tense.”
According to FAO, the exclusion zone, which at times protrudes 1.25 miles into the Strip, has made much of Gaza’s scarce farmland unusable. The entire Gaza Strip is 25 miles long and just six miles wide.