Israel to Export Watermelons to Keep Gaza Prices Lower

Watermelons. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90
Watermelons. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

In order to help bring down the price of watermelon in Gaza, Israel will soon flood the market there with 600 tons of Israeli-grown watermelon. The Agriculture Ministry authorized the transfer Sunday night. The transfer will take place over 3 days this week.

Israeli growers are now seeking Gaza importers who will agree to take the watermelons. Israel initiated the transfer after getting word of a watermelon shortage that was driving prices of the staple up, making it unaffordable for Gazans. Watermelon prices are currently over NIS 10 per kilo, far more than in Israel.

It remains to be seen if Gazans buy the Israeli produce. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas-run Gaza import thousands of kilos of fruits and vegetables a year. As the imports of watermelon will be sudden and high profile, there is concern that elements in Hamas will attempt to boycott the Israeli-grown produce.