June 19, 2019
Latest News

Israel blockades stem exports from Gaza

 Wael al Wadia, president of confectionery company Sorayo, in Gaza, May 23, 2019. EFE/Laura Fernández Palomo

Wael al Wadia, president of confectionery company Sorayo, in Gaza, May 23, 2019. EFE/Laura Fernández Palomo

By Laura Fernández Palomo

Gaza, May 23 (efe-epa).- Wael al Wadia runs his candy and potato chip company from an industrial complex in Gaza not far from warehouses belonging to the United Nations and Coca-Cola but his production has been stuttering since the Israeli blockade on Palestinian territory 12 years ago.

Al Wadia's business is functioning at 30 percent of its potential output and two production chains, one for biscuits and the one for Krembo, a type of marshmallow covered in chocolate, have been halted.

He has lodged a legal challenge at Israel's Supreme Court.

"Egypt, India, China, the United States and Turkey are exporting their products to Gaza, for this reasons we are asking Israel to do the same or at least create a partial opening to the West Bank," he told Efe during an interview from his offices in Soroya, which was founded in 1985 and has become one of the pillars of industry in the Gaza Strip.

Al Wadia said he does not want investment or donations as he believes in the potential of his business, which before the blockade exported 80 percent of its products to Israel and the West Bank.

He has made this point to the UN envoy to the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, and the Gaza director of the UN Relief and Works Agency, Matthias Schmale, when they visited.

The businessman has lodged a lawsuit with Israel's Supreme Court through the Israeli NGO Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, where he is calling for an end to the export ban that came into force weeks after the Islamist movement Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007 and expelled the Palestinian National Authority.

"The petition actually asks for three things: one was to allow the company to market its goods in West Bank and abroad.

"One was a principal request to allow all factories to sell their goods and the third request was if it works to allow these things but they need to issue procedures and guidelines on how to do it," Tania Hary, executive director of Gisha, told Efe.

Israeli authorities allow companies in Gaza to export certain textiles, fish and vegetables although Hary said guidelines change arbitrarily and do not allow for economic development in the area, which relies on humanitarian aid.

"We are unable to get transparency about the policy, we tried to compel them to publish the information and people in Gaza can use it and make plans to market their goods," Hary said, branding the blockade's guidelines "arbitrary."

"As you know, the business has foundations, the first is exportation, which is its soul, for which reason country that wants success needs to be open, without limits or borders," Al Wadia said.

He has only been able to keep on 100 of his usual 250 staff members on a permanent basis, while 70 others work on a part-time basis one or two days a week.

According to the Palestinian statistics office, the food industry employs around 5,000 people across around 600 registered businesses, over half of those being bakeries.

Roughly half the Gaza Strip's population and 70 percent of its young people are unemployed.

The first hearing at the Supreme Court last week stalled when the State of Israel cited "procedural failures" and claimed it had not received any notification from Al Wadia on how to coordinate the exportation of his products to the West Bank, meaning the case has to be resubmitted.

"They didn't get into the general questions (about the blockade).

"They focus on the procedures aspect on the case," Hary said.

"In theory, they don't have a ban on exits of goods to the West Bank and abroad, at the same time they don't have the mechanism to allow it," she added. EFE-EPA

lfp/jt/rb

News history
Fed keeps US interest rates unchanged

Washington, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The United States Federal Reserve on Wednesday left its benchmark interest rate unchanged despite President Donald Trump's...

What to know about Libra cryptocurrency

New York (USA), Jun 19 (efe-epa).-Facebook just disclosed the first details of its long-anticipated cryptocurrency, called Libra, according to a Dow Jones...

Xi, Trump hold telephone conversation ahead of G20 Summit

Beijing, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The presidents of China and the United States held a telephone conversation about the ongoing tariff dispute between the two...

Japan's exports fall for sixth straight month in May

By Mayumi Negishi

Bolivia inaugurates its 1st capsule hotel

La Paz, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Comfort and a futuristic style come together in Bolivia's first capsule hotel, which starting this Tuesday will offer lodging to...

Trump's trade rep sees progress on quick USMCA pact approval

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Tuesday emphasized his office's "constructive" talks with Democratic lawmakers...

Trump says he'll meet with Xi at G20

Washington, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would have "an extended meeting" with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the...

Facebook reveals Libra, ambitious foray into world of digital currency

San Francisco (USA), Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Facebook on Tuesday unveiled plans to launch a digital currency called Libra which will allow people to send money...

Bitcoin tops $9,000 as crypto rally trounces stocks

Hong Kong, China, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- The price of bitcoin has risen above $9,000, extending a rebound that has made cryptocurrencies far outperform...

Paris air show opens with Airbus advantage over Boeing

By Angel Calvo

Indian doctors stage strike demanding security at hospitals

New Delhi, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Doctors across India on Monday went on strike to protest against the lack of security after a mob attacked healthcare...

London-Shanghai stock link opens, uniting British and Chinese exchanges

London, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The London-Shanghai Stock Connect began operating on Monday, joining the British and Chinese stock exchanges for the first time...

Iran to exceed enriched uranium stockpile limits in 10 days

By Marina Villén

Southeast Asia side-steps US-China war over 5G technology

By Gaspar Ruiz-Canela.

Huawei revenue $30 billion less than forecast, founder says

Beijing, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Huawei’s founder and CEO on Monday said the Chinese telecom giant’s revenues will be $30 billion less than expected over the...

Electricity restored in Argentina after historic blackout

Buenos Aires, Jun 16 (efe-epa).- A massive failure in the electrical grid caused Argentina to wake up Sunday on Father's Day and with elections in four...

Colombian agency makes investment pitch in New Zealand and Australia

Bogota, Jun 16 (efe-epa).- A delegation from Invest in Bogota, which promotes investment in Colombia's capital, is meeting with investors in New Zealand and...

Argentina recovers electricity after massive Father's Day blackout

Buenos Aires, Jun 16 (efe-epa).- Argentines woke to a massive blackout on Sunday - when the country was both celebrating Father's Day and four provinces...

Village in Lebanon marks Cherry Day with abundant harvest

The village of Hammana, southeast of Beirut, Lebanon is known for its cherries blooming and has celebrated Cherry Day for fifty years.

Citroën marks 100 years of innovation with public display in Paris

By Marta Garde

1 Miner rescued in northern Chile, another found dead, a third missing

Santiago, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Of a group of three Bolivians trapped inside a mine in northern Chile, one has been rescued alive, a second was found dead and...

Brazilian general strike presents mixed picture

Rio de Janeiro, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- Events took place in each of Brazil's 27 states on Friday as a part of a general strike called by unions against...

Cuban entrepreneurs feel the pain from drop in US tourists

Lorena Canto

Lavender plantation in bloom in Hungary

A lavender plantation blooms near the village of Tihany in Hungary on the opening day of the annual Lavender Weeks fair on June 14.

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.