Most of Gaza’s factories have closed and its water is polluted as a result of Israel’s siege policy, according to a new report being released today by the Israeli Human Rights group – B’tselem.
The siege policy has “led to economic collapse in Gaza,” B’tselem noted in a 44-page report (PDF) that looked at Gaza, the West Bank and east Jerusalem during the period from January 2009 to the end of April 2010.
Following is a summery of this report:
* The prohibition on bringing in raw materials and exports into Gaza, which has been in place since Hamas’s takeover of the Strip in June 2007, forced 95 percent of the factories and workshops in the area to close.
* Before 2007, 4,000 types of goods were let into Gaza, compared with less than 150 that come in now. Among the restricted items are building materials such as iron and cement, which are needed to rebuild the 3,500 homes destroyed during last Israeli assault on Gaza – Operation Cast Lead.
* The quantity of goods that comes through the crossings is less than one-quarter of what entered prior to the siege.