Agriculture in Palestine

Agriculture in Palestine Last updated on Thursday 22nd April 2010

Insufficient rainfall and poor soil quality limit activity on the West Bank. Both agriculture and human settlement are primarily on the north-to-south-running hills, which naturally divide the area and also on the western hills which slope down to the Mediterranean coastal plain.

West Bank agriculture includes field crops and vegetables in the north, olives in the hills and grapes in the south. Because rainfall decreases from north to south and from west to east, there is very little settlement or activity in the eastern third of the West Bank. The area is very dry and, except for a few oases and spring-fed farms, it can only provide grazing for sheep and goats.

The higher areas of the West Bank experience a Mediterranean climate with cool wet winters and hot dry summers. Rainfall is of the utmost importance to Palestine and Israel, as it is depended upon to replenish the groundwater supply in both countries. The Jordan River links the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) to the Dead Sea, but its waters are little used for irrigation.

The mineral resources of the Dead Sea, which include salt and potash, have not yet been exploited by the Palestinians.

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