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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Who is dumping bad food on Palestinian Arabs?

There have been a number of stories in the PalArab press in recent weeks of the PA authorities discovering that some shipments of food to the West bank were bad. For example:
Palestinian Preventive security system seized quantities of inedible flour from a warehouse of a charity in the West Bank city of Jenin city on Monday evening (8/25).
Palestinian customs agents seized 500 kilograms of expired and inedible meat in a village near Qalqilia on Tuesday (8/19).

The Customs department told Ma’an that the confiscation took place after tests determined that the food was unfit for consumption. The meat was destroyed.
The Palestinian Consumer Protection Department confiscated 150 tons of expired food products on Wednesday (8/20) which were intended to be sold during Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, sources in the Ministry of National Economy said.
Palestinian customs and consumer protection agents seized huge amounts of inedible foods and poisonous cleaning materials across the West Bank on Sunday (8/31), the evening before the first day of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.

In Bethlehem, customs agent seized 6 tons of expired biscuits that were manufactured in Israeli settlements.

In Ramallah, one ton of inedible dates and 300 kilograms of inedible meats were seized.

In Hebron, the Ministry of Economics seized one ton of cheddar cheese that did not conform to Palestinian safety standards.

In Nablus, consumer protection and customs agent seized 2000 liters of expired and poisonous cleaning materials as well as large amounts of juices manufactured in Israel that include high levels of toxic gases and bacteria.
While Ma'an is quick to mention that these foods were manufactured in Israel, one fact in one of the stories seem to indicate that it is Palestinian Arab greed that is driving these events:
He explained that all the seized food products were bought from Israeli settlements with validity date already expired. Merchants usually forge new expiration dates. Amongst seized products were dates, nuts, peppers, rice, candies, grains, raisins and other products.
So while the press reports try to blame Israelis, especially "settlers," it looks like Arabs are picking up expired food out of the trash in Israel and trying to resell them in the West Bank.

Today's story adds another wrinkle:
The Palestinian Preventive Security forces on Tuesday afternoon seized 46 tons of dates and pickled olives with expired validity dates. The goods were confiscated from a warehouse in the eastern neighborhood of Nablus.

The director of the Preventive Security’s operations, Yasser Al-Bulbul, told Ma’an, “The economic department of the Preventive Security service received information about a truckload of pickled olives coming from Egypt. After inspections, we knew where the truck was unloaded and we stormed the place accompanied with representatives of the Ministry of Health.”

A Ministry of Health employee told Ma’an’s reporter that 16 tons of dates and 30 tons of pickled olives were seized.
Apparently, Egyptians are also keen on unloading bad food on Palestinian Arabs for profit.