Trade War Over: Israel and Palestinian Authority Announce End to Agriculture Dispute

Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced Thursday that they are renewing agricultural trade after several days of negotiations. The PA has announced that it is halting its boycott of Israeli ranchers, and Israel said it has reopened agricultural imports from Gaza. 

The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Kamil Abu Rukun, the chief of the Civil Administration Rassan Alian and Agriculture Minister Tzachi Hanegbi held talks with PA representatives, reaching understandings some three weeks after Israel stopped imports from the Strip. 

– Haaretz Weekly Ep. 63

Haaretz Weekly Ep. 63Haaretz

The break in trade resulted in changes in the market: Israel was flooded with bananas; according to data from the Israeli Agriculture Ministry, the fruit's price dropped by four percent in February.

Palestinian farmers suffered the most from the trade dispute. Data from the Palestinian Agriculture Ministry shows that in 2018, agricultural exports from Gaza into Israel totaled 88 million dollars — which is 68 percent of the argicultural exports of the West Bank, for comparison. In the Jordan Valley, one of the areas in the West Bank where agriculture is a main source of livelihood for locals, the price of vegetables dropped this month because the Palestinian market was flooded with all the goods that had not been passed on to Israel.