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Israeli economy lost $950m during Gaza offensive

July 31, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Nearly 30 per cent of workers in central Israel have returned to working in factories inside shelters which have were made specifically for times of war, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper said yesterday.

According to the newspaper, the lack of suitable working environment inside the shelters has reduced Israel’s production capacity by 40 per cent.

The paper and the Israeli radio pointed out that 70 per cent of the institutions, factories and farms did not resume work since the war on Gaza started on July 7.

The newspaper estimated that Israel has lost nearly $950 million in the first three weeks of its aggression on Gaza.

Several factory and farm owners demanded the Israel Finance Ministry compensate them for their losses.

Journalist Antoine Shalhat said the Palestinian resistance’s rockets have inflicted heavy losses on the Israeli economy forcing employers to transfer their businesses and projects to northern areas that are believed to be safer. Shalhat pointed out that this move will leave the southern communities lifeless and force their inhabitants to immigrate to the north.

Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, during a visit to the south last week, that the ministry will compensate all those affected by the war in Gaza and pointed out that the Israeli government will set up a new Iron Dome anti-missile defence system in those areas to repel resistance rockets.

According to previous figures issued by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics at the end of March, the southern area’s share of economic power is estimated at 10 per cent and contributes to eight per cent of Israel’s total foreign exports.

Israel’s total foreign exports amounted to $93 billion in 2013, according to the Israeli Export.