The head of the Palestinian Businessmen's Association, Ali Al-Hayek, has revealed that funds donated by Kuwait have helped to rebuild 420 industrial facilities destroyed during Israel's 2014 military offensive on the Gaza Strip, Al-Mujtama Magazine reported on Monday. The cost of $8.6 million came from Kuwait's total aid budget for the reconstruction of Gaza, which is estimated to be around $200m.
Al-Hayek said that 243 industrial facilities from the construction sector and 170 from the timber sector benefitted from the Kuwaiti funds. By helping such facilities to get back into the local economy, he added, hundreds of jobs have been created. He noted that at least 300,000 Palestinians are unemployed in the besieged territory.
The business leader expressed his deep thanks to the State of Kuwait for its assistance. He reminded people that Kuwait has played a major supporting role for the Palestinians, where many were given refuge post-1967 Six Day War and the start of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Moreover, Al-Hayek pointed out that there are many industrial sectors still out of the market for new opportunities because donors who promised to help in their reconstruction have not yet fulfilled their pledges. He reiterated the fact that industry in Gaza has been facing incredible difficulties due to the 13-year-old siege imposed on Gaza by Israel and its supporters. At least 1,000 economic facilities and 5,000 trading businesses were destroyed by Israel during the 2014 offensive. "We are still waiting for them to be reconstructed," concluded Al-Hayek.