Photo Credit: COGAT / screenshot / Twitter
Palestinian Authority date production at the Beit Ta'Bia factory.

The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) – the Israeli military liaison with business and political leaders in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza – said in a statement Monday that the date industry is “growing at an exceptional rate.

And dates comprise an “important part of the Palestinian economy,” according to the COGAT.

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This season the date crop is reported to be at its peak, with production at 9,000 tons of the fruit, yielding an annual income of some NIS 200 million.

At present, Palestinian Authority farmers in Judea and Samaria own and work groves totaling some 18,000 dunams, an exponential increase from the 2,500 dunams they had in 2005.

The Beit Ta’Bia factory is headed by Mahmed. It is owned by the Al-Bayda Company and shared with the Qitaf Company for Investments, and produces dates, fruits and vegetables in Jiftlik. The packaging facilities employs 140 workers.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.