The Economy Ministry has announced that it has organized fairs in Tel Aviv and Sderot in support of businesses near the Gaza border.The “Oteif B’Keif” fair will take place in the Tel Aviv Port Market from 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, August 28-30. Another fair will be held in Sderot during the intermediate days of Sukkot on Wednesday and Thursday, September 26 and 27.The recent riots at the Gaza border have discouraged visits to the South at the height of the tourist and summer vacation seasons. The fair in Tel Aviv is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses in the Western Negev that have suffered a steep drop in revenues.
More than 60 business owners from the Gaza area will participate in the fair, whose name roughly translates into “enveloped by fun,” as the Gaza border area is also known as the “Gaza envelope.”Economy Minister Eli Cohen said, “I call on the Israeli public to attend the Oteif B’Keif fair to support the small and medium-sized business owners in the Gaza area. It’s our responsibility to ensure the safety and economic security of the Gaza area residents. The small and medium-sized businesses in Israel in general, and the southern periphery in particular, spur the economic growth of the Israeli business market and it is vital to give them the support they need to succeed.”The Economy Ministry hopes the fair, which will display various cultural and business activities taking place in the area, will increase economic growth and encourage Israelis to attend other activities in the area that will take place in the upcoming weeks.The fair will feature booths that display the services of guest house providers, restaurants, alternative healers, cultural and health events, and “blue-and-white agricultural products” from the Gaza area, including cherry tomatoes, pineapples and raspberries.Sales booths will display handmade arts and crafts, including jewelry, wooden toys, clothing, cosmetics and beers from the Southern Craft Brewing Co. (Forty Degrees in the Shade, Beer of the Negev).Several special performances will take place over the three-day fair in Tel Aviv, including art shows, cooking shows, band performances and other family-oriented activities.The Jewish Agency also announced that it will grant loans of up to NIS 100,000 to business affected by the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, through the Ness Fund for the Development of the Negev. The assistance will focus on businesses in the fields of commerce, tourism and services, since agriculture business are handled by the Israeli government.
Kibbutz Kfar Aza resident Orit Tzadikovich talks about her firsthand experience with Gaza rocket fire shot at her kibbutz overnight, August 9, 2018 (The Israel Project)