Palestinian security men guarding a greenhouse in the abandoned Gaza settlement of Netzer Hazani opened fire at a group of Palestinian laborers who approached the structure, on Monday, and wounded four workers, a medical source in Gaza reported.
The laborers approached the greenhouse overnight on Monday after hearing rumors that the business’ owner plans to fire workers, officials said.
Ahmad Al Masri, general director of the company that operates about 2,700 greenhouses in Gaza, said there were no plans to dismiss workers and accused unknown elements of trying to sabotage the buildings.
About 8,000 laborers work in the greenhouses, which recently completed their first harvest under Palestinian control.
On Sunday, Palestinians exported their first shipment of produce – a crop of strawberries – to Europe, Al Masri stated.
The greenhouses, left behind by Israel after its withdrawal from Gaza in
September, are a centerpiece of redevelopment plans for the area’s economy.
The Palestinians expect to produce about 170 tons of produce, including cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and strawberries, with about 80 percent to be exported to Israel and the remainder to Europe.