Closing Gaza Industrial Zone Dooms Economic Ties

(New York Jewish Week) Joshua Mitnick - Sobbing Palestinians desperate to save the Israeli-run Erez Industrial Zone in the Gaza Strip filled the office of its director Tuesday just hours after its ordered closing on the heels of Sunday's cabinet vote to withdraw from the Gaza Strip. The closing dooms the whole idea of cementing Israeli-Palestinian relations through economic cooperation. The zone was started in the 1970s by Moshe Dayan. Last year some 400 enterprises in the zone enjoyed $150-200 million in sales. Its closure is also a fatal blow to Palestinian entrepreneurs who own half of the businesses at the zone. It is believed that Israel will now seek to foster industrial zones in Palestinian areas with the support of the international community in the hope of ending Palestinian dependence on Israel and developing Palestinian self-reliance.

2004-06-10 00:00:00

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