The Center for Freedom and Justice has been working with local farmers to develop Palestinian land in Area C. As part of our strategy we have started a land rehabilitation program called “The Greenhouse Project”. The project aims to protect Palestinian land from further confiscation by encouraging local farmers to keep working in close
proximity to nearby Israeli settlements, despite the daily harassment by settlers. It also aims to generate
substantial income for local farmers; growing crops in greenhouses allows them to produce more than one vegetable crop each year, helping to offset the economic burden placed on them by the occupation.
In April 2012, a Palestinian farmer constructed two greenhouses on his farmland in the
southern part of Beit Ommar, near the illegal Karmei Tsur settlement. The Greenhouse Project—as
part of the Center for Freedom and Justice’s plan to support the farmers in the Beit Ommar area and
other parts of Area C—is a testament to the steadfastness of Palestinian farmers in maintaining control
of their land. The first two greenhouses, the initial stage of a project to build 8 greenhouses in total,
measure 600 square meters and will be used to grow vegetables. Construction of the greenhouses, made possible by generous donations from the family of Kjetil Bjørlo, was completed on April 22nd 2012 and the first plum tomatoes and beans were planted at the beginning of May.
When the eight greenhouses are completed, they will provide an important source of income
for the village, income that project designers hope will provide for further greenhouse construction
through the recycling of investment money: Once the farmer who owns the greenhouses generates
enough profit to be able to pay back the loan from Center for Freedom and Justice, the money will be
given to another farmer so that he too may benefit from the project.