Days of Palestine, Gaza –An estimated 134 factories were bombed and destroyed by Israel during its ongoing assault on Gaza, the Palestinian Federation of Industries said Tuesday. According to a statement issued by the Federation, along with the factories which have been destroyed, more than 30,000 workers in the Gaza Strip lost their jobs because of the military operation, bringing the unemployment rate to more than 55 per cent. Losses caused by the halt in work in these factories are estimated to have reached $47 million during the four weeks of aggression. The group said the figure is likely to rise as technical teams continue to discover and document damages. Mufeed Al-Hasayna, minister of Public Works and Housing in the national unity government, said "the losses are estimated at $300 million, and the residual value is about $600 million in indirect economic losses resulting from high rates of unemployment, poverty and the destruction of infrastructure." Vice President of the Palestinian Federation of Industries Ali Hayek accused the Israeli army of destroying the infrastructure andsuperstructure of the Palestinian economy in the Gaza Strip, which in his believes is being "aimed at increasing the economic dependency of Palestine on Israel". Pre-2007, the economic activity in the Gaza Strip accounted for approximately 30 per cent of the economic power of the Palestinian economy as a whole. Over the past seven years this has declined to less than 10 per cent after the economic blockade and siege of Gaza. Hayek stressed the need for urgent action to extend a helping hand to the devastated factories to make them operational and allow workers who have lost their jobs to return to work. The Gaza Strip has suffered from a significant economic downturn in recent years, which worsened during the current aggression.
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