For Gaza Tailors, Market is Flooded, External Markets Are Banned

“Not only did the ‘easements’ Israel declared not help us, they have even harmed us. Exports are still banned, and that is a problem because the Gaza market is very small, and a large amount of ready made clothes have been brought in from Israel and China. The Gaza market was flooded with products, there is a lot of supply and less demand, and because of the stiff competition, we are forced to lower prices. As long as there is no export, it is hard for workers in the clothing and textile sector to profit and produce. After three years of closure, we lost the contacts we had developed with clients from Israel, and they went elsewhere… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods out of Gaza | 2 Comments

Women breaking barriers

Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency recently published a report about two sisters from the Gaza Strip, aged 13 and 16, who went to work in the fishing industry to support their family following their father’s illness. The report drew much interest and was translated and published on several Arabic language websites. True, it is out of the ordinary for two girls in a conservative society to find themselves in a field, or sea, as it were, usually reserved for men, but considering the difficult situation in Gaza– 39.3% unemployment in the second quarter of 2010, with the number of people living in abject poverty rising in the last two years from 100,000 to 300,000 according to the UN Office… Continue reading

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Netanyahu Testimony on Gaza Flotilla: PR over Human Rights and Security

As the Israeli daily Haaretz pointed out in a scathing editorial, Netanyahu readily acknowledged that Israel’s decisions on what to allow or prohibit into Gaza were based not on concern for the welfare of the population in Gaza but rather about Israel’s image in the international media: “Even though there was not a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, I decided to gradually ease the limitations and the movement of goods through the land crossings. I did so because… Continue reading

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Not making the mark in economic recovery

In late July, the Tawjihi post-high school exam results were announced to the dread or delight of Gaza’s 36,594 exiting high school seniors. Over the summer vacation, these youngsters are making plans for their future like young people elsewhere. Will they attend one of Gaza’s five universities, which don’t offer badly needed degrees in environmental science, medical engineering, veterinary medicine and occupational therapy? Or will they seek to travel abroad, since travel to West Bank universities remains banned? Continue reading

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Not your average trip to the mall

The media last week heralded the opening of the first shopping mall in Gaza and immediately the blogosphere was atwitter. Some saw it as proof of the easing of the closure, which Israel had promised, and others saw it as a sign that there is no crisis in Gaza. Indeed, a two-story building converted into an air-conditioned shopping mall (restrictions on the transfer of construction… Continue reading

Posted in economic development, Movement of goods out of Gaza | 3 Comments

What happens after you allow cocoa into Gaza?

when you zoom out from the numbers and percentages, it turns out that even though Israel allowed the Palestinian Coordination Committee (the body in charge of coordinating and transferring requests from private sector merchants to the Israeli side, not including the agricultural sector) to include raw materials in its daily lists, there is still a long way to go until those materials actually reach Gaza. Since an Israeli permit is subject to the capacity constraints of the crossings, and since Israel has permitted only one of the crossings (Kerem Shalom) to be fully operational, most requests by merchants for raw materials are not even submitted. Last week, for example…. Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality

As discussion of “easing” the closure of Gaza continues, restrictions on movement between Gaza and the West Bank remain tighter than ever. Last week, the Defense Ministry announced that the “easing” would in no way expand criteria for travel of people between Gaza and the… Continue reading

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A Significant Boost or a Slight Modification?

An article in yesterday’s Haaretz cites Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Brig. Gen. Eitan Dangot’s having told the Palestinian Authority that Israel will facilitate an increase the number of trucks entering Gaza by 50%. Dangot claims that in the near future, Israel will allow 150 trucks per day via Kerem Shalom and the equivalent of 120 trucks per day of aggregates via the conveyer belt at Karni, for a total of 270 trucks per… Continue reading

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Commitments Yet Unfulfilled

On Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet issued an encouraging statement promising to remove many of the restrictions on civilian goods entering Gaza, including those needed for economic activity. What has changed on the ground since the announcement and more generally, since international pressure mounted on Israel in the wake of the May 31 flotilla incident?… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods into Gaza | 1 Comment

Who Turned Out the Lights in Gaza?

For the past several months, Gaza Gateway has reported on the declining amounts of industrial diesel, necessary for electricity generation, entering Gaza. These amounts fall far below the needs of Gaza residents and are even lower than the “minimal amount” set by Israel before the High Court, as part of its policy of supply restrictions to Gaza. Last week, for example, the power station received just 1,200,000 liters of diesel – 35% of what is needed for… Continue reading

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