Friday, 22 November 2013

Gaza food industry struggles from lack of electricity, fuel


GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The food industry is struggling in Gaza due to the ongoing Israeli economic blockade and intermittent access to electricity, a factory owner told Ma'an Thursday.

"In light of regular power cuts, working hours have been reduced, and so the factory can't provide the Gaza market with the necessary amount of food," Mahir Alay said.

Facing issues such as lack of raw material, lack of fuel, faulty generators, and daily 12-hour-long power cuts, Alay said factories throughout Gaza have begun laying workers off.

"Production cost has increased, and so I have (been forced) to reduce the number of factory workers," he said.

Similarly, the director of production at a biscuit factory in Gaza told Ma'an that his factory has been unable to maintain market demand due to shortages of fuel and electricity. more

UN warns of deteriorating Gaza humanitarian situation


GAZA CITY (AFP) -- The humanitarian situation in Gaza has deteriorated one year after a truce that ended fighting between Israel and the Hamas rulers of the Palestinian enclave, UN officials said Thursday.

"After 12 months the initial hopes for a significant improvement on the ground have not been realized," said James Rawley, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories.

"In fact I am sorry to report that situations for Gaza's 1.7 million people is worse than it was before the hostilities a year ago" between November 14 and 21, he said.

Speaking at a news conference marking the anniversary, Rawley said the fuel and energy crisis was a primary cause of the situation.

Robert Turner, head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, noted the impact of the demolition of smuggling tunnels under the border since Egypt's army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

"The closures of the tunnels has led to a near total collapse of private sector constructions, as it compounded the constraints due to the pre-existing ban on construction materials from Israel for the private sector," said the UNRWA chief. more