Wadi Qana Farmers' Association

Wadi Qana Farmers' Association

   Rizeq Abu Naser, a farmer and political activist, is a fervent fighter against the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, and the ongoing stealing thousands of dunums of Deir Istiya and the neighboring villages. Wadi Qana, an oasis rich in biodiversity and a haven of citrus orchids and grapevines, is a hidden gem in the district of Salfit. However, it is an area that has suffered tremendously from the policies of the Israeli occupation, which has attempted to forcibly expel its farming communities. While the occupation’s army has so far uprooted nearly 3,000 trees, it is also using nature reserves land designations and laws to forbid farmers from reaching their lands and tending to their trees, under the guise of turning the valley into a nature reserve. The blatant double standards of the occupation are stark, as nine illegal settlements have been built around the wadi. Unfortunately, the wadi is never out of sight for the eyes of preying settlers who have been terrorizing students, families, and farmers, to use the natural space for their own recreational activities. The aggression of the Israeli occupation is continuous; in fact it is on the rise. In 2018, the Israeli army destroyed an animal shed owned by Rizeq and his partners in the wadi. This is in addition to the obstruction of seven agricultural roads that provide access to farming lands in Wadi Qana by installing road crash guard barriers. They have also transformed the main road leading to the agricultural roads to a high-speed road, which has resulted in several run-over accidents to residents of the area.

   Farmers’ access to their agricultural lands is getting more and more difficult, as six thousand dunums in Khirbet Shhadeh area are now out of reach. Many other agricultural lands in the wadi have been confiscated for the expansion of the illegal settlements Immanuel and Ginot Shomron. The Farmers’ Association of Wadi Qana is fighting against this injustice and has been carrying out solidarity events, actions, and tree planting activities. The wadi lies in Area C, and while walking there you get to see a few small sheds and houses that were built prior to 1967 and that are still being used by Palestinian farmers to strengthen their presence in the wadi. Similarly, many farmers who had been displaced from the wadi have now returned to farming it in an act of defiance to the occupation.

   The Farmers’ Association has been marketing their produce to local clients through different organizations as well as in Hisbet Nablus (the central produce market). Their products include citrus fruit, olive oil, grape leaves, sage, pomegranate, and wild mushrooms. To purchase produce from Wadi Qana and to learn more about the continuous struggle to protect its lands and people’s livelihoods, contact Rizeq Abu Naser.

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Product Availability: Seasonal.

Products Selling Points:  Hisbet Nablus (Central Market) or on-site

Volunteering opportunities: Volunteers are welcome to provide any support needed to the farmers. For more details, contact Rizeq.
Other services: Hosting and tours in the area.