Reference : V-P-IL-E-03270
Date : 24/07/2019
Caption : Nahal Oz Kibbutz. A farmer, who suffers from the damages of incendiary balloons launched from Gaza.
Photographer : DAVIDOVICH, Shay
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : Hot summer days are especially tense for farmers living in the Israeli towns around the Gaza Strip. The cause of their troubles: incendiary balloons. These devices, launched from Gaza, have been drifting over the border since the situation escalated almost two years ago. These incendiary balloons often land on farmer's fields, which catch fire quickly in this dry region. The fires leave huge patches of blackened crops that scar the landscape - and cause enormous financial and psychological damage for the farmers. Sometimes devices land in Israeli towns, endangering property and safety of civilians who live there. Farmers face a tough dilemma: do they harvest their crops early and use them as food for farm animals or wait until they are ready to harvest, risking them being set alight by the balloons?
This farmer tells the ICRC: "Only a farmer would understand this. I stood with tears in my eyes in front of the burning wheat fields and I was helpless. I just stood still, shed tears, cried. It is something you have grown, something you have invested in and have been working on for months. When you go to harvest your crops and see that they are burned before you can enjoy them, it is such a heavy experience. Last year, out of 4000 hectares of wheat, about 1300 hectares burned down. This year there were fewer fires since we harvested the wheat as fodder while it was still green, so that it did not catch fire. What we did not harvest, burned. How to move on? We move on because we must".
Resolution : 5472x3648
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour