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Accompanying food sovereignty efforts in the Middle East

This process of dispossession is ongoing, with illegal Israeli settlements controlling about two thirds of Area C, the part of the occupied West Bank that contains the majority of Palestinian agricultural land. Meanwhile, 35% of Gaza’s agricultural land and most of its territorial waters are within closed military zones. A wide range of Israeli policies and practices prevent Palestinians from shaping their own food systems, while subsidizing settlement agriculture.

A third of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation are food insecure, rising to 63% in Gaza. Many Palestinian families who rely on emergency food assistance are the descendents of peasant communities that farmed, herded, foraged, and fished in the Fertile Crescent for generations prior to becoming refugees in 1948. After 1948, their land and water sources were systematically appropriated as “state land” under the exclusive control of the Israeli government.

Amidst profound disruption, Palestinian herders, fishers, and farmers resist injustice simply by maintaining their livelihoods. Their struggle to protect land, water, territory, seeds, and food sovereignty in Palestine is essential to structural social change.

Grassroots International funds and accompanies:

  • A Palestinian-run agroecology school, building skills, practical tools, and contextualized knowledge
  • Campaigns and organizing among Palestinian farming and herding communities at imminent risk of forced displacement and land confiscation in the occupied West Bank
  • Food access initiatives implemented in refugee camps by Palestinian refugees
  • Support for fisherfolk to access and maintain their livelihoods in Gaza
  • Projects advancing sustainable livelihoods and food sovereignty over the long term, including agricultural cooperatives for Palestinian women and youth
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