Food sovereignty in Palestine is inextricably linked to the fight for self-determination. Land dispossession in Palestine began in 1948 when 78 per cent of historical Palestine became Israel. Since 1967, the remaining 22 per cent of land – now referred to as the ‘Palestinian territories’ – has either been occupied or is controlled by the Israeli army. The separation wall, the buffer zones, the illegal Israeli settlements and the military exclusion zones within these territories are slowly stripping the indigenous people of all farmland and water resources.
Add to that the restrictions on freedom of movement and the regular attacks waged by Israeli settlers against farmers and their crops and you will understand why the agricultural restrictions imposed by Israel cost the Palestinian economy US$2.2 billion a year and why 31.5 per cent of the population is food insecure, according to the United Nations.