First pineapple farm opens in Gaza

Fruit chosen for low water needs as Gaza suffers from water crisis under Hamas misrule.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff ,


Pineapples are being harvested in the Gaza Strip for the first time as part of efforts to help the impoverished territory work towards food self-sufficiency.

The fruit, for domestic sale, is grown in a 1,000 square meter greenhouse in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis as part of a project sponsored by the Dutch government.

Mussa al-Jadba, an agricultural engineer who supervised the project, told AFP they had cultivated pineapples "for the first time in the temperate Gaza Strip after we have created the environment and climate for their growth."

Two hundred and fifty plants have so far reached maturity with up to 4,000 expected to bear fruit throughout this harvest.

The goal is to develop new crops to help Gazan farmers achieve self sufficiency, Jadba added.

"The Gaza Strip suffers fundamentally from salty water, which has encouraged the union to grow pineapples as they don't need much water," he added, referring to the agricultural union.

Gaza suffers from severe water pollution, with more than 95 percent of its groundwater unclean, leading to increased risk of serious diseases.

The strip has been ruled by the Hamas terrorist organization since 2007. Hamas has diverted funds and aid meant for civilian infrastructure to its military wing, including the construction of terror tunnels into Israel. The Palestinian Authority has accused Hamas of preventing the construction of a desalination plant which would provide clean water for Gaza's residents.

Israel supplies Gaza with fresh water.