The losses of the Palestinian marble and stone sector totaled $100 million since the start of the present Intifada (uprising) in the Palestinian Territories on September 28th.
According to Al-Ittihad newspaper, the Palestinian Marble manufacturers Association has warned against severe damages caused to this sector by the Israeli closure. If this policy continues, many of the Palestinian marble manufacturing facilities will be forced to shut down.
The Palestinian Marble Manufacturers Association reported also that 720 marble manufacturing factories are currently operating in the Palestinian Territories. These factories are divided as follows: 250 factories in Bethlehem, 200 in Hebron, 200 factories in Nablus and 70 factories in Ramallah.
Furthermore, the association revealed that 160 marble factories in Bethlehem were recently obliged to shut down because of the Israeli closure imposed on the Palestinian territories. As a result, 2,500 workers, out of the 4,000 workers employed by the existing marble factories, were fired. The overall losses of the marble sector in the Bethlehem region are assessed at $720,000. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )