Mar 22, 2011

#BDS: 'Buy Gaza' Movement Gains Momentum

"GAZA CITY, Mar 18, 2011 (IPS) - Palestinians are calling for boycotts against Israeli products and companies. But in the Gaza Strip -- at the heart of the Israeli occupation -- it is often impossible for residents to follow their own call to action.

The Israeli currency (the shekel) is the only monetary system in use, and Israeli products dominate key markets, particularly household items such as dairy products and detergents. Although Israel is finally allowing import of the supplies needed to produce most items locally, the four-year-long siege has taken its toll and industries must build up their businesses virtually from scratch.

"It's been a long time under siege, and we have been a captive market," said Sameh Nasr, executive manager of Arjan, a Gaza beverage company that participated in this month's industrial exhibition at Islamic University in Gaza City. "We have to educate the people that they can 'buy Gaza' again."

The exhibition was the fourth such event sponsored by the Palestinian Federation of Industries (PFI), which represents about 2,000 factories in Gaza that are working to get back on their feet. In addition to the production of food both through agriculture and manufacture, Gaza has long been known for the fine craftsmanship of its furniture. "

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