Gaza factories to demobilize 32 thousand workers and warn of bankruptcy

Gaza _ Palestine News Network

The General Federation of Palestinian Industries revealed alarming figures about the reality of Gaza's industrial sector, in the light of the continued Israeli blockade and internal division.

Wadah Bseiso, treasurer of the General Federation of Palestinian Industries, said 80 percent of Gaza's factory and company workers were laid off during the years 2016-2017-2018, warning of a complete collapse.

The number of workers in Gaza's industrial sector was 40,000, while 32,000 had been laid off in the last three years, he said.

According to Bseiso, 46% of the labour force in Gaza is currently officially unemployed.

He pointed out that the industrial sector was directly affected by all actions, whether at the crossings, the power deficit, or the banning of traders and operators, to warn that the industry represents the "backbone " of the national economy.

The recent procedures at the crossings and the denial of full access to materials, other than the denial of access to basic raw materials under the pretext of dual use, were "not only influential".

According to Bseiso, the total concern is to prevent the export of domestic products from the Gaza Strip abroad, explaining that "this harms the industrial process and operation."

He added that Gazans, who are not paid, are the main engine of the market, noting that "their lack of money affects the consumption and purchasing cycle in the killing, which is causing economic paralysis."

In a related context, Bseiso disclosed that the proportion of factories closed in Gaza after the blockade exceeded 70%.

According to Bseiso, there were 65,000 factories and workshops in the sector before the Israeli blockade, with only 600 or 650 remaining.

He pointed out that a large number of factories were destroyed during the three Israeli wars in Gaza, explaining that 450 factories in the timber industry out of 600 were completely and partially destroyed.

The remaining factories in Gaza are operating at a maximum of 15 percent of their production capacity, Bseiso said, adding that the industrial sector is in a state of collapse.

Factories are now unable to stabilize operating expenses, he said, noting that this process requires more than 60% of the production capacity to provide a kind of monthly income.

"Without production capacity and work card exceeding 60%, factories are a burden to their owners and operational expenses cannot be met," he said.

He warned that "the budget of all factories in Gaza now, with complete incapacity, precedes the bankruptcy case."

On the resolution of this crisis, he explained that it is first to  "ensure a state of stability, security and safety conducive to the provision of a viable investment environment in Gaza; encourage investors to return in a large and regular way, and contribute to the foreign investors also."


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