Israeli industry lost some NIS 345 million during the first eight days of Operation Protective Edge, the Manufacturers Association of Israel said on Thursday, indicating that the indirect business costs of the rocket fire would far outweigh direct damages.
Almost half the loss – NIS 145m. – was inflicted on industry in the South, including near Gaza, while the area from Tel Aviv to Haifa lost NIS 170m.
The remaining NIS 30m. came from the Jerusalem area.
The calculation took into account loss of daily output, the cost of paying people who could not come to work, hits to revenue and losses from missing fresh raw materials.
It did not take into account direct damage to factories, harm in reputation with foreign customers or related future losses.
The greatest profit losses hit plants dealing with food, which suffered profit losses of 20 percent to 40%. Indeed, according to the Fruit Growers Association, the closure of crossings to the Gaza Strip alone have caused NIS 20m. worth of damages, as fruit went bad by the truck-full.
“Fighting in the South and the firing of missiles harms the normal functioning of factories in the entire country,” said Manufacturers Association of Israel President Zvi Oren.
Oren added that he was working with the Finance Ministry to determine state compensation and coordinating with the Histadrut labor federation to promote compensation for employees missing work as a result of the situation.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the Histadrut agreed to negotiate a final compensation package for workers within 40 kilometers of Gaza, which would include paying indirect damages to workers that result from the operation.
According to the survey, an average of 85% of workers continued to work normally through the security troubles, though the figure was lower in the South (80%) and higher in Haifa (90%) and Jerusalem and the North (95%).
Those figures are an improvement over previous operations, in part because of better preparation by factories – such as offering shuttles for workers and increasing shift times for those who do come – as well as the efficacy of the Iron Dome defense system.