A Palestinian vendor sells vegetables at a market in Gaza City.
(photo credit: ISMAIL ZAYDAH / REUTERS)
MK Haim Jelin, who lives at Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Gaza periphery, has decided to help his neighbors.
Through Spanish Ambassador Manuel Gomez-Acebo, Jelin has approached a Spanish textile corporation and urged it to expand a textile factory in Gaza that currently employs 300 people. Jelin said he is convinced that the negotiations will lead to the creation of more than 3,000 jobs in the Strip.
“After 17 years of missiles falling and reprisals like pingpong, it is time to separate the people of Gaza from terrorism by bringing more work to the people,” Jelin told The Jerusalem Post
“Every Gazan who has work supports his extended family. The goal is to create as many workplaces as possible, as part of a long-term plan for Gaza’s future.”
Jelin turned to textiles because at its peak, the industry employed close to 6,000 people in the Gaza Strip, and related fields supporting the industry employed thousands more. He said he was aware of the numbers, because when, as head of the Eshkol Regional Council, he was in charge of the Karni crossing near Nahal Oz, he facilitated 450 trucks hauling textiles entering Israel from the Gaza Strip.
The plan is coordinated with Gazan business owners, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, and the coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.- Gen. Yoav Mordechai. Jelin revealed that President Reuven Rivlin has been instrumental in advancing the plan with top Spanish leaders.
“The time has come to restore life to Gaza’s textile industry,” Jelin said. “If there are epidemics in Gaza, it will be Israel’s problem, so we need their economy to develop.”