Home > Economics, Middle East, Politics > Don’t Turn Workers Into Fighters

Don’t Turn Workers Into Fighters

Dion Nissenbaum writes in Checkpoint Jerusalem:

Maher (in photo) walks past the stacks of tables waiting to be shipped into Israel. He walks past the piles of unfinished chairs. He walks through the silent halls like some Shakespearean figure who is losing his mind.

“This is worse than a tragedy,” says Maher. “It is a disaster.”

Maher is the owner of Abdelfattah Moshtaha Company for Trade and Industry, one of dozens of factories at the Karni border crossing, Gaza’s main economic lifeline to the world.

Karni has been closed now for nearly two months, ever since Hamas took control of Gaza.

Israel has made sure that essential supplies (flour, produce, even cigarettes at times) are getting in. But nothing is getting out. And the Gaza businesses like Maher’s furniture company are quickly sliding towards collapse.

If the closure continues, the United Nations estimates that 120,000 Palestinians will soon be without work. Only 10 percent of Gaza’s industries are working. Eighty percent of the workers in Gaza’s furniture industry have been laid off. In the most recent UN report, losses since mid-June are estimated to be $35 million. Gaza’s industries are losing a half million dollars a day.

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