KHAN YOUNIS, GAZA
Photos by WFP, 2010
Fayyadh was 47 years old when we met him in 2010, and headed a farming household of 10 people in the Qarara area of Khan Yunis, Gaza.
He owns a plot of land of 12 dunums located 150 metres from the fence with Israel, which in the past was planted with almonds, olives and cactus.
In 2003, the area was levelled by the Israeli military and has since remained inaccessible due to warning fire opened from a nearby watch tower at any person attempting to reach the area.
A second plot of six dunums, located 1.5 kilometres west of the fence, was cultivated with olive trees and levelled in late 2008. This plot has subsequently been replanted with wheat, which was consumed by the family, or bartered with two day labourers.
To help offset financial losses, the family rented a 3-dunum plot of land in the area of Suq Mazen, which it planted with zucchini.
However, the Israeli military bulldozed both areas during the 2008/9 escalation. An irrigation network that Fayyadh installed in the rented plot, with the assistance of the European Union, was also totally destroyed.
The loss of income pushed the family into a state of dire poverty and 14,000 NIS in debt.
❝Every day, I pass by shops and see people that I owe money to, and I lower my head,❞ He said. ❝I don’t know what to do because I have no income.
❝Everything we earned was from the land, and every metre we planted was destroyed… Every day I pray that I will be able to return to my land and bring it back to the state it was in.❞