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Monday, May 22, 2006

And the green on the leaves turned to brown - the fruits of terrorism

The Jerusalem Post reports this morning that the Palestine Economic Development Corporation (PEDC) is shutting down the Gaza greenhouses that were purchased from expelled Gush Katif residents for one third of their value by James Wolfensohn, Bill Gates and others, and given to the PEDC to operate.

The result is that 6000 'Palestinians' - more than double the number of workers employed by the Israelis who previously owned the greenhouses - are now out of work. But it's not just because the 'Palestinians' looted the greenhouses.

Despite widespread looting after the Israeli withdrawal in September, attacks from Palestinian terrorists looking to claim territory, and the challenge of managing their own crops for the first time, the Palestinian greenhouses produced over 12,000 tons of what one Israeli exporter who tested the fruits and vegetables called "very high quality" produce. But the produce was all dressed up with no place to go.

From January until now, which is the harvest season, Karni was closed by Israel more often than it was open, sometimes for weeks straight, because of constant security threats from Palestinian terrorists. In April, an attack on the Karni terminal by two cars of terrorists armed with automatic weapons was thwarted by Palestinian security forces. Additionally, two attacks on the Erez pedestrian crossing in the north have been foiled by Israeli forces since disengagement.

As a result of Karni's closure, only 1,500 tons of produce made it out of Gaza. Instead of winding up on the dinner plates of Europeans, as was the plan, the produce was occasionally given away to charity groups but mostly dumped in the surrounding sand dunes. (The PEDC kept it promise not to sell their produce in the Gaza markets, which would undercut other growers there).

With a first-season revenue of less than $1m. when at least $16m. was predicted, the PEDC has no money to pay its workers for April and May and recently sent a letter to all the remaining farmers and engineers stating that the project would be terminated at the end of the month.

There's lots more about this story at the Post. Read the whole thing.


At 5:43 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Because then they couldn't blame Israel....


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