A number of businessmen in the Gaza Strip wondered as to how U.S President Gorge W. Bush, promises the Palestinians with a Palestinian state, with all Gaza’s travel and commercial crossings closed.
In a press conference held on Tuesday by the popular committee for breaking the siege, in the Ramattan News Agency, a number of businessmen voiced concern over the continued Israeli closure of Gaza.
Jamal aL-Khodary, an independent Gaza lawmaker, stressed that the conditions of trade for Gaza’s tradesmen are getting much worse.
‘Commodities, worthy of tens of millions of dollars, have been stranded at the Israeli sea ports, inflicting businessmen with huge financial losses’, aL-Khodary said.
He also maintained that the Gaza businessmen are dependent on Israel to bring raw materials and that with the crossings closed, many industries have been drastically impacted.
He called on all concerned Arab and international bodies to help lift the ongoing siege, saying ‘every citizen and businessman has the right to import and export through the crossings’.
Other businessmen who joined aL-Khodary’s press conference wondered as to how come President W. Bush wants a Palestinian state by the end of 2009, while Gaza is facing a crippling closure.
Latest statistical figures show that Gaza’s industry has been greatly affected since June2007, when Israel placed Gaza under strict closure, with more than 90 percent of local industrial facilities closed.
Over the past seven months, the Hamas-ruled coastal territory has been going under a tight closure, after the Islamist Hamas movement took over the region amidst a power struggle with Fatah party of president Mahmoud Abbas, who favors peace with Israel.
Bush will be visiting the occupied West Bank and Israel on Wednesday in a bid to inject a momentum to underway Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, on basis of a two-state solution, Bush emphasized during last November’s conference in Annapolis city in the United States.