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Israeli Warplanes Deliberately Targeted Economic Structures In Gaza To Cause Long-Term Damage

Besieged Gaza Strip (Palestine Online)- The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said that following Israel’s latest aggression on the Gaza Strip, the Gaza’s productive
sectors and economic structures, which were already fragile due to years of siege and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, directly and indirectly affected.

In its report released in September and examined the “Israeli attack’s impact on the economic sectors of the Gaza Strip, Euro-Med revealed that the Israeli forces during the 11-day aggression last May carried out “precision and focused air or artillery attacks on economic facilities containing factories and production and service units, specifically factories that produce plastic, nylon, and food products, in addition to renewable energy projects.”

In addition to targeting production facilities in different areas in Gaza, Euro-Med said the Israeli forces “deliberately targeted the Gaza Industrial Estate (GIE)” which is one of the largest production complexes in Gaza, “where a considerable amount of Gaza’s production operations take place, as it contains dozens of
factories and companies that employ hundreds of workers.”

“The Israeli army artillery targeted GIE for days with dozens of shells, which caused massive fires in the production facilities. To make matters worse, the fires continued for days,” it said.

The human rights group said by “examining the Israeli army’s behavior and the nature of the precise munitions it used to target economic facilities, it becomes obvious that Israel may have deliberately targeted the productive sector in Gaza to cause severe, long-term damage to its productive capacities and to stifle
any efforts to achieve economic development in the beleaguered sector of more than 15 years.”

The direct Israeli attacks caused widespread damage and destruction to more than 100 factories, residential buildings, towers that contained multi-service shops, industrial workshops, educational institutions, training centers, and agricultural areas, some of which contained livestock and poultry farms, Euro-Med added.

It added that the fishing sector also received a major blow after Israel closed the sea, prevented fishing throughout the aggression and its aftermath, and repeatedly reduced the fishing area as a form of collective punishment.

The head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Gaza, Nizar Ayyash, told Euro-Med Monitor that the closure of the sea during the Israeli attack caused the disruption of more than 4,000 fishermen, who support about 50,000 people. He said that the closure caused indirect damages estimated at $2 million,
in addition to losses estimated at $170,000 due to the direct bombardment that targeted several docks in the governorates of the Gaza Strip.

According to a report issued by the Higher Governmental Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, the total direct losses and damages in the economic sector from the Israeli military attack on Gaza amounted to $479 million distributed on the housing, infrastructure, economic development, and social development sectors.

A Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment (RDNA) in the Gaza Strip between May 25 and June 25, 2021, conducted by the World Bank, the United Nations, and the European Union revealed material damage of $380 million and
economic losses of $190 million.

As for stopping economic flows, production, and services, the Israeli attack caused losses ranging from 105 to 190 million dollars.

Israeli bombing apparently deliberately destroyed about 300 economic facilities in the industrial sector that employed about 4,000 workers and disrupted the work of all factories during the attack, the group said, adding this disruption continued in many factories after the attack, while other factories reduced their production capacity and stopped some production lines as a result of closing the crossings and preventing the import of raw materials.

“The targeting included factories with various fields of work with a seemingly deliberate approach to destroying the economic pillars in the Gaza Strip. These factories continued to operate despite the losses they had sustained
in three previous military attacks, a tight siege since 2006,” the Euro-Med Monitor noted.

It also pointed out that the destruction and disruption of factories led to a record-high increase in the unemployment rate, surging to over 60% among workers. The number of unemployed people increased to about 270,000 workers and the poverty rate among workers increased to more than 80%,according to the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions.

The Euro-Med Monitor also said the Israeli attacks caused a large number of workers to stop working. In total, the value of losses in the agricultural sector is estimated at more than $200 million.

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