Gates' charitable foundation, the largest in the world, provided the bulk of the funds used to purchase the greenhouses from Gush Katif residents at rock-bottom prices, to be handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to Forbes magazine.

A foundation representative contacted by WorldNetDaily confirmed the report. "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation contributed $10 million to facilitate the transfer of the greenhouses," he said. "This was a unique grant, made quickly and quietly because we believed it was in the best interest of all parties and would enhance the peace process."

The donation falls outside the stated focus of the foundation, which is global health. The foundation has traditionally stayed away from taking a side in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Until the Forbes report, a request to keep the source of the money confidential had been honored by all the parties involved.

Prior to the Disengagement, Israel's bug-free greens were grown in the advanced Gush Katif greenhouses and Gush Katif farmers exported more than $100 million in produce to Europe annually.

In a hasty $14 million deal brokered by former World Bank President James Wolfensohn, the greenhouses were transferred to the Palestinian Authority. The PA then took responsibility for the facilities, but failed to protect them from looters following the withdrawal of the Israeli military. PA security personnel assigned to protect the greenhouses reportedly took part in the looting as well.

The greenhouses that survived are not being successfully used, as PA farmers complain that they are having trouble reproducing the bug-free produce grown by the greenhouses’ former Jewish owners. WorldNetDaily reports that the Arabs have asked the US governmental development group USAID to hire back the expelled Israelis as consultants for the declining vegetable businesses.