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Al-Khudari: Israel destroying Gaza industrial sector; 70 million USD in losses per month

Sept. 6, 2008 5:23 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 6, 2008 5:23 P.M.)
Gaza - Ma'an - The crisis in Gaza's industrial sectors has continued to escalate despite the truce, since Israel has prevented any raw materials from entering the area, said chairman of the Popular Committee Against the Siege Jamal Al-Khudari on Saturday.

Al-Khudari, who is also a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, sent a press release outlining the Israeli policies that lead to the closure of 3,900 factories and workshops in the Gaza Strip, leaving 70,000 Gazans unemployed.

Despite continuous calls and efforts to place pressure on Israel, said Al-Khudari, plastic, wood, chemicals, wools and woods have not been allowed in to the Strip to allow factories to run. Losses are estimated at 70 million US dollars monthly from the factory sales alone, not including indirect losses.

These facts are evidence of an Israeli plan to paralyze one of the pillars of Palestinian national economy, said Al-Khudari, and is an effort to "change the Palestinian people from a producing people into a consuming people who will spend the rest of their life living on international charities."

"Israel is changing the Gaza Strip into a big prison depriving it from all means of self-dependence or job opportunities," he added. The actions, he added, violate international law and the Geneva Convention.

Al-Khudari appealed to Egypt, who is sponsoring the ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, to exert pressure on Israel in order to let in all raw materials for Gazan factories.

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