Palestinians protest Israeli blockade in front of Gaza crossing

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GAZA, Aug 10: Dozens of Palestinians organized Thursday a protest in front of the Karm Abu Salem border crossing, the only commercial crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, in rejection of the over-16-year Israeli blockade. Industrial federations, factory owners, workers, commercial truck drivers and a number of local media activists participated in the protest, calling for lifting the Israeli blockade and warning of its repercussions.

Head of the Wood Industries Union in Gaza Waddah Bseiso said in a press conference that the Israeli occupation’s ban on 56 types of basic raw materials under the pretext of dual use has impeded the work of the various economic sectors, especially the industrial and agricultural sectors. Growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the Gaza Strip declined during the blockade period and amounted to USD 2,700 million, while the trade deficit as a result of banning exports amounted to about USD 1.26 billion at the end of last year, which led to a rise in poverty rates to more than 60 percent, he added. Unemployment rates reached 45.9 percent, most of them young people, after recording direct losses estimated at USD 48 million per month in the industrial, agricultural, commercial and construction sectors, he pointed out.

He underlined that the dependence of 80 percent of the Palestinians on international aid came due to the decline in economic activity in Gaza, which increased food insecurity, coinciding with the donors’ policy of reducing the volume of aid. The Karm Abu Salem crossing is the only one for the residents of the Gaza Strip through which goods pass, and the Israeli occupation authorities control the quantity and types of exports and imports and the working days of the crossing as one of the measures of the land blockade, which increases the suffering of the Palestinians. (KUNA) –

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