Photoblog by Ruqaya Izzidien | Al Akhbar English | Nov 4, 2011
Gazan olive oil used to be considered amongst the most luxurious in the world. Today, the blockade and attacks on agricultural land have reduced the quantity and quality of oil to a shadow of its former status. But Gazan farmers are keen to keep the tradition, and the oil, running. The olives are either handpicked or beaten with sticks and drop to tarpaulin below. They are then scooped into bags and taken to be squeezed in one of the few olive presses in Gaza. After being cleaned, the olives begin a long journey of conveyor belts which crush, squeeze and press every drop of olive oil out of the fruit, including the pip which also contains oil. A thick, smooth green liquid is bottled and sold at around 30 shekels a bottle. The dry pulp that remains is used as fuel for stoves or as animal fodder.