Some 30 Gaza farmers participated in an agricultural expo held in the Eshkol Regional Council last week, despite the hostile relations between Israel and the Strip's government, run by Hamas.
"Agriculture knows no borders," said Uri Madar, of the agriculture department in the District Coordination Office (DCO). "There are various parasites that can 'jump the border' so there is a clear mutual interest here. If things are calm on the security front, there is no reason not to boost agricultural and economical ties."
In 2002, Gaza's farmers would ship about 70 tons of produce to Israel, and the latter would send a similar quantity to the West Bank. However, when Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, it enacted new export policies.
Today, the majority of Gaza's produce is exported to Europe – after being inspected and packaged in Israel, for security reasons.
"Gaza exports produce to Europe every day," Ahmed Shafi, head of the Gaza City Agricultural Association told Ynet. "We export peppers, strawberries, flowers, cherry tomatoes and spices."