A four-day food fair has been held to promote Palestinian produce. The fair, which ended on Sunday 18th December, was called "Our food" and was organised by the Food Industries Union in the Salim Effendi Halls in central Nablus.
Fifty West Bank companies and one Israeli company took part in the fair, which was held under the auspices of West Bank Prime Minister Dr Salam Fayyad. It is scheduled to move to Hebron for a similar event.
Each company exhibited its wares in an effort to promote Palestinian products. It was also a call to boycott Israeli goods in favour of Palestinian alternatives to help to boost the Palestinian economy. The Food Industries Union had been trying to establish such a fair in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1995. It is now planning to hold the event in a different city every year.
The Palestinian food industry is experiencing remarkable development, despite the Israeli occupation. In 1995, it had just a 7 per cent share of the local produce in markets; today that figure is 35 per cent. Nevertheless, the occupation is still stifling Palestinian economic progress and remains a major obstacle to further development.
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour