Hamas' Agricultural Terrorism

(Wall Street Journal) Rebecca Sugar - At Kibbutz Alumim, 2 miles from the Gaza border, 300,000 chickens died following Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Three coops were burned to the ground. Terrorists also destroyed the automated food and water dispensers for the remaining five structures housing the flock. After the attack, no one was around to tend to the chickens and the birds died of hunger and thirst. Terrorists targeted farmland, livestock, plants and infrastructure as they made their way across the western Negev, which produces 70% of the country's vegetables, 20% of its fruit and 6% of its milk. "The attack was designed to intentionally destroy agricultural production, but more than that, it was meant to destroy the identity of the region, to break the community," said Danielle Abraham, executive director of Volcani International Partnerships, an NGO that addresses global hunger using Israeli technological innovation. Hamas killed 30 milking cows at Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Those that survived went unmilked for nine days. Many developed a painful condition that contaminated their milk and killed 70 of the herd. Some that have recovered still aren't producing milk. Trauma from the sounds of explosions and gunfire seems to have suspended their production. Hamas terrorists damaged greenhouses and barns, many beyond repair. They slashed crop nets and flooded orchards. They burned irrigation pipes and destroyed the filtration system for the local reservoir. Estimates of income losses and infrastructure damage total more than $500 million. Attacks on Israel's environment and natural resources aren't new. In 2005 Palestinian looters damaged roughly 900 of the 3,000 greenhouses Israelis left behind after they withdrew from Gaza. In 2018 terrorists launched more than 800 incendiary balloons from Gaza, setting fire to 6,100 acres of agricultural land in the Negev. Raids on Israel's northern farms and arson in its forests have been regular occurrences. Hamas attacked Israel's blooming desert, a national symbol of innovation and resilience. Michal Uziyahu, liaison to the mayor of the Eshkol region, a cluster of 32 communities near Gaza, says that more than 4,000 of Eshkol's 17,000 residents are already back home. Half of the region's Thai workers have also returned.

2024-02-27 00:00:00

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