The Israeli occupation authorities have banned the export of animal hides from Gaza in the wake of the Muslim festival of Eid ul-Adha, when Palestinians slaughter hundreds of animals capable of producing huge amounts of leather.
The exports had been banned for a long time, but were allowed two months before Eid. The ban was, however, reinstated following a military order on what has been described as “spurious” grounds.
Mohamed Al-Shawwa is one of Gaza’s leather traders. He said that he has accumulated about 30,000 pieces of hide and leather because of the ban. In fact, in the whole Gaza Strip, there are estimated to be more than 100,000 pieces waiting to be exported to factories in Israel and further afield.
Gaza manufacturers only carry out the primary stages in the production of leather, working from fresh hides. They need to export their goods in order to get the finished product ready for the market.
Images by MEMO photographer: Mohammad Asad