• Amman

  • Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 4:08 AM
    Last Update : Wednesday, January 3, 2024 at 4:08 AM

Jordanian Farmers Refuse to Export Fruits and Vegetables to Israel

(AWP) - Jordanian agricultural institutions and farmers have condemned the export of fruits and vegetables to Israel, stating that this is an individual behaviour that does not represent the unified position of the Jordanian people in solidarity with the Palestinians.

Israel has been waging a continuous war on the Gaza Strip since October 7, resulting in the death of 22,000 Palestinians and injury of over 56,000.

Jordanian farmers have demanded the closure of commercial crossings with Israel, stressing that some merchants buy agricultural crops, claiming to export them to Palestinians in the West Bank, when they are in reality sold to Israel.

Suleiman al-Hayari, President of the Jordanian Fruit and Vegetable Exporters and Producers Association, said, "Those who export [to Israel] are a group of brokers who hold Israeli citizenship. The Ministry of Agriculture has no role in this issue because the matter is not in its hands. [The brokers] obtain the certificate of origin from the Ministry of Industry and Trade and through the chambers of commerce."

He added, "We must prevent the issuance of these certificates from Jordan to these people or completely close Sheikh Hussein Bridge in the face of exports and imports from the Zionist enemy."

Although several Jordanian agricultural associations confirm that they have been exporting goods to Israel since the normalisation of relations following the 1994 peace treaty between the two countries, they now reject selling crops to Israel due to the war in Gaza.

Farmers have called on the Jordanian government to support their products and help them promote and market them to other countries as an alternative to the Israeli market.

Ahmed Abu Raman, a farmer, said, "Regarding rumours of exporting Israel, we heard that some people exported and sent goods under the pretext that they were for the West Bank. I did not see it with my own eyes, but the farmer wants to protect himself and make a profit so that he can continue farming next year. Because if he makes a loss this year, he will not be able to farm next year. The continuation of work on farms requires the state and the government to protect and market the products."

According to the Jordanian Department of Statistics, bilateral trade between Jordan and Israel is approximately US$130 million annually.

Jordanian state figures also indicate that Jordan’s exports of vegetables to Israel before the war on Gaza averaged 1,300 tonnes per month, out of a total of 12,500 tonnes exported by Jordan elsewhere.