AMSTERDAM (Jul. 13)
Palestinian citrus growers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will soon have direct access to the European market.
The European citrus importers have signed a contract with the Palestinian exporters to accept their produce without the intervention of the Israel Citrus Marketing Board.
Holland was largely instrumental in arranging the deal, which is expected to greatly improve the Palestinian economy in the territories. Palestinian citrus growers export about 16,000 tons a year to Western Europe.
A Dutch agrarian expert visited the territories three times in recent weeks to advise the Palestinians on export procedures.
Dutch Foreign Minister Hans van den Broek is visiting Israel next week and is expected to urge the authorities there to cooperate fully with the new contract. It was signed under the auspices of the European Commission.