Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
Photo: Reuters
Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza

Faster than machines, jobless Palestinian graduates bring in Gaza's crops

With unemployment in the enclave reaching 50%, students and college graduates whose careers were stalled team up to pick crops claiming they are better and faster than machinery

Reuters |
Published: 06.10.20 , 22:55
Covering the ground five times faster than a tractor for subsistence wages, 40 Palestinian graduates have teamed to pick crops in Gaza, after failing to launch the careers they studied for in a territory where unemployment runs at above 50%.
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  • Including would-be teachers and nurses, they call themselves the Commandos on account of their quick-fire work.
    Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
    Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
    (Photo: Reuters)
    This week, wearing caps as protection against the hot sun, they harvested wheat in the southern Gaza Strip near the Israeli border.
    "We began with five or six graduates in 2016 and now the team has grown to 40," team member Ala Abu Tair told Reuters. "A harvest that can take farmers 150 minutes while using tractors takes us just 30."
    The 31-year-old has been unable to find work as a sports teacher since graduating in that discipline in 2009, something for which he holds both an Israeli blockade and internal Palestinian political divisions responsible.
    Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
    Palestinian students pick crops in Gaza
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Local economists say nearly two out of three jobless Gazans are recent college graduates, and when the Commandos aren't harvesting the land for 20 shekels ($5.80) a day each, they do construction work.
    Israel says its border restrictions are aimed at curbing Palestinian Islamist group Hamas's fighting abilities. Gaza officials say the measures have crippled their economy.

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