Africa / Middle East
Israel has announced that it will bar Palestinian agricultural exports from leaving through Jordan, Reuters reports.
Olive oil and dates are among the agricultural exports that will be included in the embargo. In 2019, Palestine exported roughly $147 million worth of agricultural goods.
“The director of Israeli crossings informed all exporters and all relevant parties that all Palestinian agriculture products would be banned from export to world markets through the Jordanian crossing,” Riyad al-Attari, the Palestinian agriculture minister, told a local radio station.See more: Signs of Hope in Palestine’s Olive Oil Sector
The move comes as a trade war between the two nations continues to escalate. Israel’s defense minister, Naftali Bennet, said the ban is a direct retaliation to a Palestinian government boycott on the import of Israeli cattle, which was implemented last October.
Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories, Kamil Abu-Rukun, added that the embargo would be lifted as soon as the Palestinian boycott of cattle ended.
However, al-Attari said the Palestinian government was already planning counter-measures aimed at putting pressure on Israeli farmers.
“We have several options and measures with which we can respond to each Israeli decision that aims to harm our national economy,” al-Attari said.
In the meantime, Palestinian farmers, exporters, merchants and transport companies are left facing a stockpile of goods meant for export and an increasingly uncertain future.