Israeli Occupation Saps Palestinian Economy

By Haaretz

Published March 24, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Mussa (not his real name ), a Palestinian businessman who opened a quarry about a year ago across the Green Line from Modi’in, wanted to take advantage of its location and transport gravel to that Israeli city and its environs, as well as to Palestinian construction sites in the Ramallah area. He managed to close a deal with Israeli contractors to sell them gravel, but when his trucks arrived at the Na’alin checkpoint, Civil Administration officials ordered them to turn around. At the same time, he says, the Natuf quarry across the road, which belongs to the Israeli-owned Shafir Civil and Marine Engineering Ltd., delivers gravel in Israel uninterrupted.

Civil Administration officials explained to Mussa that his trucks could get to Modi’in only via another, more remote checkpoint, where the cargo would then be unloaded onto Israeli trucks that would reach Modi’in through areas inside the Green Line. Mussa estimates that this journey, which would be 70 kilometers longer, would make the gravel at least twice as expensive. “It is very frustrating,” he says. “Modi’in is so close, but because of the army’s orders it doesn’t pay for me to transport gravel to it.”

The Civil Administration said in response: “The Na’alin crossing is not suitable for transporting cargo because of its capacity for security checks.”

According to official figures, 94 percent of the output from West Bank quarries reaches construction sites in Israel, and supplies a quarter of the industry’s gravel needs. According to the data, Israel’s housing industry will be dependent on the gravel produced by the quarries for the next 35 years. If it weren’t for their activity, housing prices might today be even higher than those that prompted Daphni Leef and her friends to pitch tents on Rothschild Boulevard last summer.

“Gravel of various types is sold at a price of NIS 25-30 per ton,” explains Shimon Giller, an Israeli geologist who is intimately acquainted with the quarry industry in the West Bank. “Transport constitutes a large part of the cost to the consumer; it raises the gravel price by 30 agorot a ton per kilometer of travel. Gravel in the Eilat region, for example, costs around NIS 60 per ton. Aside from Judea and Samaria, most of the quality quarry sites are in the Galilee or northern Negev. This clearly has implications for housing prices.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.