Foot-and-Mouth Crisis in Palestine: Farmers Sound Alarm

Jewish settlers regularly harass Palestinian farmers and herders in the West Bank. (Photo: via Twitter)

An outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease in the West Bank early this year has killed thousands of livestock, pushing Palestinian farmers already living under occupation to the brink of bankruptcy, The New Arab reported on Sunday.

One of the Palestinian farmers, Mohammed Basheer, said he had to incinerate hundreds of dead lambs after the outbreak devastated livestock across the West Bank, leaving him with more than just a stinging financial loss.

For Basheer, the ordeal underlines the unique challenges facing farmers in the occupied Palestinian territory, who complain that they are underserved by the Palestinian Authority and face constant threats from Jewish settlers.

“I got no help from the PA, not even a telephone call,” Basheer, who owns thousands of livestock near the city of Nablus, told AFP, voicing frustration over what he described as inaction from the Palestinian agriculture ministry.

Palestinian farmers blamed the PA for halting a vaccination program that had proven essential in protecting livestock against an endemic disease.

More than 475,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank in communities widely regarded as illegal under international law. Israel’s governing coalition has continued to approve new settler homes across the territory while acting sporadically against new outposts.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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