Palestinians protest Israel's war on local metal industry
and the practice of collective punishment
Wednesday, February 5, 2003
Palestinians protest Israel's war on local metal industry and the practice
of collective punishment
Gaza City: In the last few weeks, Israel has intensified its military operations
against Palestinian metal industry sector in the Gaza Strip. According
to media sources, Israeli army, within a period of two weeks time only,
supported by tanks and Apache helicopters, destroyed at least 90 metal
shops in both Gaza City and Khan younis town in the south.
As tens of owners and hundreds of workers found themselves suddenly out
of work and left with nothing but rubbles and broken machines, members
of the Palestinian Metal Industry Union held a protest in front the Palestinian
legislation council (parliament) last Saturday, February 1st. Owners and
workers marched together in an attempt to voice their
anger and protest against what they call ・Israel's war on the Palestinian
economy and the practice of collective punishment on the people of Palestine
as a whole.
Some factory owners displayed big machines, which became out of order after
the latest attack on Gaza of January 25th. A fifty Five years old factory
owner who stood next to the truck that carried some of the remains of his
machines, said,・ my factory specialized in repairing and making spare
parts for the local mechanized bakeries in all of Gaza Strip. I know the
big bakeries and its machines very well.
Another owner described his work as a factory specializing in making Gears.
He boosted,・I used to make all kind of gears for the local market. We
used to cover the needs of the local market and sometimes we even sold
The bearded middle aged man complained,・Israel does not want to see Palestinian
depending on home grown industry. He added,・they (Israelis) want to keep
us relying on their imports even to the point of buying from them small
Many also expressed serious concern of Israel's latest action of preventing
Palestinian industrialist from importing row material. According to a Union
member, he said that the stored row material in the Gaza Strip could last
for six month only.
In recent days, international media carries Israeli version of the story,
particularly, when reporting military attacks on metal workshops in the
Gaza strip. CNN and BBC, namely, voiced the same line of Sharon・ government
view that such shops make missiles and bombs.
However, the protesters in Gaza described such claims as absolute lies
by the government of Israel. In a message to the world, one protesters
commented,・we are small factory owners for peaceful proposes. Israel knows
that we do not have the row material suitable for making missiles. And
they would never export such material to us anyway. All what they say is
mere lies and false accusation.・
Reported by B. Samed
Gaza City,February 5th. 2003