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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The cabinet will discuss extending the relocation incentives given to factories evacuated from the Gaza Strip last year at the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday after Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Eli Yishai submitted a proposal to include the Barkan and Emmanuel Industrial Zones in the program.
"Our goal is to encourage businesses to operate and employ Jewish workers after the evacuation," Yishai said. "Setting [the law to include] these areas is based on calls to the ministry and their inclusion would be the result of requests [by companies] for these two zones."
The cabinet will discuss whether to give businesses, which already qualify for compensation and grants, additional ones amounting to 24 percent of the investment required to set up their new operations.
Under the disengagement law, special incentives were given to companies relocating to development areas, as defined in the investment encouragement law. These include industrial parks in the Negev and the Galilee and if the cabinet accepts the proposal, will include Barkan and Emmanuel for companies that move before May 19 next year.
Udi Sheintal, deputy director-general at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor told The Jerusalem Post that of approximately 100 Jewish-owned businesses which were located in the Erez Industrial Zone in Gaza, between 30 and 40 survived the government's disengagement of August 2005. The 60 factories that closed, he added, did so because they couldn't adjust to the higher salaries demanded by workers in Israel than the mainly Palestinian employee base found at Erez.
The Barkan and Emmanuel Industrial Zones are both found in the territories.
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