The Qudaih farm, today owned and managed by Abd el Haleem and Khaldya Qudaih, is situated at the southeastern end of Khuza’a.

The Qudaih family settled during the era of Ottoman rule in Palestine in a grazing field often used by nomadic Bedouin herders from the region. Today, the town’s population comprises the 9,700 offspring of the Qudaih family.


World War I


Just before 1915, Gaza’s land tax ballooned under Ottoman rule. Ahmed Qudaih, then the head of the family, could not meet these increased payments, and as punishment, he was detained by Ottoman tax collectors, tied to a horse, and dragged across town. After being tortured, Ahmed was forced to sell his land for as low as 10 percent of its value. From then on, Ahmed’s wife took on the role of managing the family’s affairs.



The Banzen Commission divides the Ottoman Empire into territories, each under the control of a different European nation.


British Mandate in Palestine.


Peel Commissio, Woodhead Commission, Marison Grady Plan.

World War I



UN special Committee on Palestine.


Between WWI and 1948, before the establishment of Israel and the Nakba, the family’s main agricultural output was wheat and other cereals. Each May, after the harvest, the family moved for the summer to Jaffa, where they could sell their produce and find refuge from the heat.


Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, International recognition, Arab–Israeli War.


Following the Armistice Agreements and the establishment the Green Line, between 160,000 and 190,000 refugees from Palestine end up in eight refugee camps in the Gaza Strip. Today, these camps house approximately 1.4 million descendants of the 1948 refugees.

Arab-Israeli War

After the Arab–Israeli War, the sixteen-dunam (16,000-square-meter) farm continued to adapt to external constraints and to the changing needs of the family.



Egyptian rule in Gaza.


With Operation Kadesh, Israel captures the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula.



The farm’s main produce was watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). Its watermelon fields were surrounded by olive and date trees, and at home, small vegetable gardens grew tomatoes, squash, onions, and potatoes.


Ceasefire line, Israel withdraws to the 1949 borders, the Green Line.



During the Six-Day War, Israel captures the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and the Golan Heights.


Yom Kippur War. The Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, and Golan Heights remain under Israel control.


Israel withdraws from parts of the Sinai Peninsula.


Israel begins the construction of its first settlement in Gaza.


Watermelon production grew so much that the plant became the most common farmed species in Gaza. The fruit’s overproduction led to a steep drop in its selling price and therefore a great loss of revenue for the family. As a result, the family decided to focus on almond (Prunus dulcis) groves.

Fence technique

To protect the farm and its produce, Ibrahim Qudaih, Amir’s grandfather planted a live wall of Opuntia, also known as prickly pear or sabra. Between the cactus belt and his cultivated land, Ibrahim dug a deep trench.

*Fatima Daqqa and Ibrahim Qudaih divided their farm equally among  their four sons, and left each of their three daughters money for their respective shares of land, guaranteeing that they can live off its produce.

From almonds to tomatoes and squash

In 1978, Abd el Haleem Qudaih, Amir’s father, replaced the almond trees with tomato and squash plants, which yielded more fruit and sold better both within Gaza and in Israel and the West Bank.



Israel and Egypt signs a peace treaty.


Israel disengages from part of the Sinai Peninsula.

Running water

In 1981, the local government installed infrastructure that, for the first time,  supplied water to Khuza'a’s homes. Abd el Haleem Qudaih upgraded the farm accordingly, purchasing irrigation pipes that allowed him to grow beans and to improve the yield of his potatoes and tomatoes.



Israel further withdraws again from the Sinai Peninsula, maintaining control of the Gaza Strip, and invades Southern Lebanon.

Gold for water

the extended Qudaih family had invested in the improvement of reliable water access to the farm, having dug the first well and constructed piping to connect the well to the farm.

As water access became more challenging, the family continued advancing the development of self-sufficient and regenerative water resources, including rain-harvesting system. Khaldya Qudaih, Abd el Haleem’s wife, sold the gold she received at her wedding to buy materials for the construction of an underground water tank. The tank, it turned out, was built to be opened when it rains, demanding from the family highly dangerous work: in Gaza, it rains mostly at night, when Israeli-imposed curfews prevented Gazans from leaving their homes lest they be shot. The farm, moreover, was and remains heavily surveilled due to its proximity to the border.

The first greenhouse

During the 1980s, the family built their first greenhouses to cultivate tomatoes for export. The family business did so well in the local and regional markets, in the West Bank, and in Israel that Abd el Haleem Qudaih could afford to take care of his extended family.


The First Intifada, a sustained series of Palestinian protests and, in some cases, violent riots against the twenty-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza begins. Though the intifada is generally understood to end with the Madrid Conference in 1991, some date its conclusion to 1993, with the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Israel constructs ten additional Israeli settlements in Gaza.

The First House

In 1991, Abd el Haleem and Khaldya Qudaih begin to build a new home for their nuclear family, as his mother Fatima Daqqa gave them her blessing.



Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization sign the Oslo Accords, establishing limited administrative control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the Palestinian Authority. Pursuant to the Accords, Israel continues still today to maintain control of the Gaza Strip’s airspace, land borders (with the exception of Gaza’s border with Egypt, abandoned by Israel in 2005), and territorial waters. In 1994, Israel begins construction of the first 60-kilometer-long barrier between the Gaza Strip and Israel.


Oslo I.


A barrier wall between Israel and the Gaza strip is begun.


Oslo II.


Israel constructs ten additional Israeli settlements in Gaza.


The barrier wall between Israel and the Gaza strip is completed while administrating three main crossing points out of the Gaza Strip: the northern Erez Crossing into Israel, the southern Rafah Crossing into Egypt, and the eastern Karni Crossing used only for cargo. Other cargo crossing points are the Kerem Shalom border crossing on the border with Egypt and the Sufa Crossing further north.


Israel withdraws from South Lebanon.


The Second Intifada, also known as the al-Aqsa Intifada, begins. Many Palestinians consider the Intifada to be a struggle of national liberation against the Israeli occupation imposed on them following 1967’s Six-Day War; many Israelis consider it to be a terrorist campaign.


Plan for the construction of a wall in the West Bank.


Israeli disengagement from Gaza is completed. Israel evacuates its twenty-one settlements and army posts from the Gaza Strip while retaining exclusive control over Gaza’s airspace and territorial waters. The government continues to patrol and monitor the external land perimeter of the Gaza Strip, with the exception of its southernmost border (where Egypt retains control of the border and border crossings are supervised by European monitors), and continues to monitor and blockade Gaza’s coastline.

According to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Israel still today remains an occupying power under international law. The United Nations has stated that under resolutions of both the General Assembly and the Security Council, it regards Gaza to be part of the "Occupied Palestinian Territories.”


Israel continues the construction of the separation Wall in the West Bank.


Hamas wins control of Gaza in an election. In response,  Israel fires artillery rounds into Gaza and bombs buildings.


Operation Summer Rain follows the capture of an Israeli soldier. A total of 240 Palestinians are killed in two months of bombing and ground raids.

Operation Summer Rains

Led to the destruction of the Qudaih family’s greenhouses, leaving them without the resources to reconstruct and forcing them to stop producing tomatoes and to shift to onions, potatoes, and squash cultivation.

Gaza cross-border raid

An armed incursion carried out by seven or eight Gazan Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006 who attacked Israel Defense Forces (IDF) positions near the Kerem Shalom Crossing through an attack tunnel. In the attack, two IDF soldiers and two Palestinian militants were killed, four IDF soldiers were wounded one of whom was Gilad Shalit who was captured and taken to the Gaza Strip.

According to statistics published by the Israeli government, 757 missiles from Gaza hit Israel between the withdrawal and the end of June 2006.


Israel launched Operation Summer Rains.

Operation Autumn Clouds, a six-day ground invasion of Beit Hanoun, results in at least 50 Palestinian deaths. Another 18 from one family are killed in artillery shelling.


Between 10 and 15 June 2007, Hamas wrests control of Gaza from the Fatah during the Battle of Gaza, leading to Israel’s blockade of the strip closure of its southern border with Egypt.


Israel intensifies air raids after Hamas seizes control of Gaza.

Farming became the main source of subsistence for the Qudaih family. Still now, more than 90 percent of the family’s food comes directly from their farm.


An estimated 1,166–1,417 Palestinians and 13 Israelis are killed in the Gaza War. The conflict comes to an end on 18 January after first Israel and then Hamas announce unilateral ceasefires. On 21 January, Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. On 2 March, it is reported that international donors pledged $4.5 billion in aid to Palestinians, primarily directed toward rebuilding Gaza after Israel's offensive. This war is considered to be the largest,  deadliest, and most devastating military operation in Gaza since the Six-Day War in 1967. Human rights groups and aid organizations have accused Israel and Hamas of war crimes.


A total of 18 Palestinians are killed in one day in an Israeli incursion into Zeitoun.

Israeli troops storm Jabalia; around 120 Palestinians are killed in five days.

Operation Cast Lead is launched, killing at least 360 Palestinians in the first four days.

Operation Cast Lead

The farm’s fence irrigation system, and most of its date and olive trees were destroyed. Later, the family reconstructed two greenhouses.


Two Israeli soldiers and two Hamas militants are killed during clashes on the Gaza Strip’s southern border.


A series of cross-border attacks is carried out by a squad of militants in southern Israel, near the Egyptian border.


Operation Returning Echo.

Fighting grows intense in October 2012, with Palestinians primarily launching and Israel launching airstrikes in its eight-day Operation Pillar of Defense. By the end of the attacks, 158 Palestinians are killed, of which 102 arere civilians, including 30 children and 13 women, 55 are militants, and one is a policeman.


Operation Pillar of Defense

Again led to a direct attack on Khuza’a and the partial destruction of the farm, damaging the family’s newly constructed greenhouses and some of the farm’s remaining trees.


The IDF launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July 2014, in response to Hamas rocket attacks, which were launched following an earlier Israeli air strike against Gaza and on 17 July 2014, Israel troops entered the Gaza Strip.

During Operation Protective Edge

Khuza’a, bombarded by air, was cut off the rest of the strip and besieged by tanks. Eighty percent of the village’s buildings were severely damaged or destroyed. The farm, including the greenhouses and one of the family homes, was entirely destroyed.
During the attack, the Qudaih family hid in a small room for twenty-one days eating only watermelons that they had hurriedly stocked before the raid. Scared for their lives and surprised by their survival, the family witnessed their neighbors’ home collapsing on its inhabitants, leaving mountains of rubble and the stench of corpses in its place.


The greenhouse was rebuilt and the house reconstructed.

Foundation for Achieving Seamless Territory, 2021