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Tobacco growing providing much-needed employment in Palestinian villages

| June 21, 2013

In recent months the Palestinian Authority (PA) has begun clamping down on tobacco farmers who package and sell hand-rolled cigarettes around the villages, accusing them of being involved in the illicit trade, according to a story by Noah Browning for Reuters.

The PA has even begun arresting some workers.

‘While the government maintains that building a modern economy depends on the rule of law, its critics say the moves to stamp out black market trading is another example of the state-in-waiting’s failure to implement policies that protect jobs and help pull Palestinians out of poverty,’ Browning wrote.

“We’ve triumphed over joblessness,” farmer Mohammed Amarnih, 65, was quoted as saying, before adding that tobacco cultivation had brought unemployment in several local villages down to nearly zero.

“The government has given us no alternative to this work, so [this is the only way] we can live a normal life in dignity,” he said.

Browning’s story is at: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/20/us-palestinians-tobacco-idUSBRE95J06H20130620.

Category: Breaking News

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