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Gaza food industry struggles from lack of electricity, fuel

Nov. 21, 2013 6:12 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2013 9:39 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The food industry is struggling in Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli economic blockade and intermittent access to electricity, a factory owner told Ma'an Thursday.

"In light of regular power cuts, working hours have been reduced, and so the factory can't provide the Gaza market with the necessary amount of food," Mahir Alay said.

Facing issues such as lack of raw material, lack of fuel, faulty generators, and daily 12-hour-long power cuts, Alay said factories throughout Gaza have begun laying workers off.

"Production cost has increased, and so I have (been forced) to reduce the number of factory workers," he said.

Similarly, the director of production at a biscuit factory in Gaza told Ma'an that his factory has been unable to maintain market demand due to shortages of fuel and electricity.

His factory has been suffering financially as a result of dire economic conditions in Gaza.

Lack of diesel fuel is a result of the tightening of a 7-year-long blockade imposed on the territory by Israel with Egyptian support.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.

The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

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