Israeli aircraft sprayed toxic chemical substances and dangerous herbicides on farmlands across the besieged Gaza Strip on Sunday according to a Palestinian official.
Nizar al-Wahedi of the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry said that the herbicides were used along the border between the Gaza Strip and the occupied Palestinian territories.
He said the Palestinian ministry was not aware of the composition of the Israeli chemicals being sprayed adding that “Israel has no right to spray herbicides on Palestinian lands”
Press TV reports: Palestinian farmers say Israeli troops spray weed killers to dry wild plants around security fences in order to have clear vision to watch the area, but they usually spray dozens of meters around their targeted areas, killing and damaging Palestinian crops.
The continuing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip is putting the lives of people at risk, taking a heavy toll on the enclave’s agriculture sector.
Farmers are struggling to meet growing demands of 1.8 million Gazans who are living in the tight grip of the Israeli siege. They face many challenges due to shortages in farming equipment and more importantly, approved pesticides.
Due to the decline in production and Israel’s ban on the entry of basic commodities, Gazan farmers have resorted to the use of banned chemical substances to maximize crop yield. This poses a serious health hazard to both farmers and their consumers.
The United Nations has frequently expressed concerns over the excessive use of toxic pesticides by Gaza farmers.
Many medical experts in Gaza are worried about a rise in the number of registered Gazan cancer patients, especially in the agricultural areas.
They warn that children are more susceptible to diseases such as leukemia than adults in such regions.
Gaza Strip has been under Israel’s blockade since June 2007. The crippling siege has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.
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