Israeli occupation army decided to halt the export of goods from the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom crossing until further notice, claiming the discovery of explosive materials in a shipment of clothing.
The Israeli occupation claimed to have foiled an alleged attempt to smuggle explosive materials from Gaza within a shipment of clothing via the Kerem Shalom crossing located to the south of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli decision to close the Karm Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing, a vital economic lifeline for Gaza, for exports has shocked the citizens of Gaza, especially business owners. This decision has resulted in significant financial losses for various sectors, notably farming, textiles, and furniture manufacturers.
Fuad Odeh, head of the Palestinian Federation of Garment and Textile Industries, stated that the clothing sector is directly affected, as 103 factories from Gaza export their products to the occupied Palestinian territories in 1948 and the West Bank.
All of these factories will halt production during the peak season of Israeli holidays. Odeh estimated that the direct losses would be around $3 million in monthly losses, not including the indirect ones.
He added that the Businessmen’s Association has sent messages to all donor parties and international organizations explaining the unjust Israeli decision, which is considered collective punishment and is unacceptable. They insist on examining the issue in detail and taking appropriate measures.
Eng. Ayed Abu Ramadan, Gaza Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture, described the unjust Israeli decision as having a negative impact on the economy in general. It halts factories and agricultural production, causing tens of thousands of workers to lose their jobs and join the ranks of the unemployed. It also prevents fishermen and farmers from working and exporting their products.
Abu Ramadan explained that the most affected sectors are clothing manufacturing, woodworking, fishing, and agriculture, as the economy is an interconnected web of activities.
He noted that the Chamber of Commerce for Gaza Governorate, along with all chambers of commerce and the Coordinating Council of the Palestinian private sector, is in contact with all international parties that have influence over Israel to clarify the situation and demand that this unjust decision be reversed.
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He warned, “The fundamental principle is ensuring freedom of movement for individuals and goods without any restrictions or limitations. Unfortunately, Gaza is under siege, and we cannot erase the negative consequences of this decision.”
Even though Israeli occupation withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it maintains complete control of the territory’s crossings, both land and maritime, its population records, communication systems, and various facets of everyday life and infrastructure.