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10,000 Gaza workers laid off due to tightened blockade

Labor Ministry: 10,000 Gaza workers laid off due to tightened blockade

Gaza, 14 October 2013 - The Palestinian government said 10 thousand workers have joined the unemployed after construction materials stopped to flow through the underground tunnels along the Egyptian border.

Director of Public Relations at Ministry of Labor Nabil al-Mabhouh said 10 thousand workers in the construction sector and 80% of fishermen have become jobless, in addition to 80% reduction in transportation sector due to the fuel crisis.

Al-Mabhouh stressed the need to establish a free trade zone with Egypt, and to facilitate trade movement.

Nabil Abu Meilq, chairman of Palestinian Contractors Union, considered the Israeli decision to suspend the entry of construction materials into the Gaza Strip as an "economic disaster", rejecting the Israeli justifications for it.

The Israeli occupation has allowed on 22 September the entry of the construction materials into the Gaza Strip for the first time since 2007, he said, noting that only 70 truckloads of construction materials were allowed in.

The Gaza Strip has suffered difficult conditions ever since the overthrow of Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi, and the consequent Egyptian military's crachdown on tunnels along the Egyptian border.

The lack of stability in the region significantly harms the private sector; suppliers, businessmen, importers, and farmers, Abu Meilq added.



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