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Parts of Gaza Closed to Farming and Grazing due to Fear of Contamination

December 25, 2009

Ma’an News reports that Gaza’s Ministry of Agriculture has banned farming and grazing in parts of the Gaza Strip that were targeted by Israeli attack last winter, due to fears that such areas have been contaminated by toxic materials.  The Ministry claims that these parts of the Gaza Strip had been struck by materials that could be “radioactive, toxic, and carcinogenic.”  The report does not specify how much of the territory will be closed to farming and grazing, or what percentage of production could be affected.

The Ministry claimed that, due to the composition of much of Gaza’s soil, it is possible that the feared pollution may already have passed into aquifers from which Gazans draw much of their water.  It has thus banned the extraction of water from such areas.

The Ministry added that it cannot perform proper testing of the affected areas, as all of Gaza’s laboratories were destroyed or damaged during Operation Cast Lead.  It called for help from Arab and European states in performing such tests.

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