- Title: Rust Never Sleeps - Gaza's car graveyards turn to profit
- Date: 3rd February 2021
- Summary: GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 24, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CRANE MOVING METAL PALESTINIAN WORKER COLLECTING METAL WORKERS MOVING METAL INTO SCRAPPING MACHINE WORKER WORKING ON SCRAPPING MACHINE MACHINE SCRAPPING METAL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BUSINESSMAN FROM GAZA WHO GATHERS METAL AND EXPORTS IT, AHMED MOUSSA, SAYING: "There is a huge amount here ( of metal), we have been collecting material for the past 15 years , all of this was not exported for around 15 years. Here I have for an example 20 thousand tons, some people such as merchants has 20, others have 10, some people have been gathering metal for 15 years. In Gaza, around 200 thousand tons are piled up in Gaza." VARIOUS OF CRANE MOVING METAL TRUCK MOVING METAL VARIOUS OF METAL GATHERED AT SCENE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN WORKER, EMAD AQAIL, 39, SAYING: "There is no jobs in the city and of there is, I would not make the salary that I make in this job to support my children. Working with metal, while it is tiring a bit, but it provides me with the salary I need and I am happy with, and I am adapted to this job." VARIOUS OF METAL GATHERED AT FIELD WORKER SCRAPPING METAL VARIOUS OF MACHINE SCRAPPING METAL (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BUSINESSMAN FROM GAZA WHO GATHERS METAL AND EXPORTS IT, AHMED MOUSSA, SAYING: "One of the things that is not good is the smell of metal, if this is piled up between neighborhoods, what would we have done with it. For example, from where does the metal come from? If you go to the rubbish, they collect it from there, they collect it from the households waste, they collect all of it, look at what I clean here , we are exporting waste for money." METAL AT FIELD VARIOUS OF WORKER MOVING METAL AFTER SCRAPPING EREZ, ISRAEL (FEBRUARY 2, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF HEAD OF THE ISRAELI CIVIL AFFAIRS DESK AT THE COORDINATION AND LIAISON ADMINISTRATION (CLA) FOR GAZA, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ABDALLAH HALABI, AT OFFICE WRITING NOTES HALABI TALKING TO REPORTER ISRAELI FLAG ON HALABI'S HAND (SOUNDBITE) (English) HEAD OF THE ISRAELI CIVIL AFFAIRS DESK AT THE COORDINATION AND LIAISON ADMINISTRATION (CLA) FOR GAZA, LIEUTENANT COLONEL ABDALLAH HALABI, SAYING: "During 2020, the Gaza CLA of the unit for co-ordination of the government activities in the territories lead an innovative project for advancing the export of scrap iron from the Gaza Strip, which as for now has yielded some 10 million shekels for the benefit of its citizens. This project is one more in a series of steps that the Gaza CLA is leading in the field of exports in order to improve the Gaza Strips economy because of quality of life and economic development in the Gaza Strip cannot be separated from the stability of region security." GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 31, 2021) (REUTERS) AN OFFICIAL WITH GAZA'S ENVIRONMENT QUALITY AUTHORITY, BAHAA AL-AGHA, AT OFFICE LOGO OF ENVIRONMENT QUALITY AUTHORITY (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AN OFFICIAL WITH GAZA'S ENVIRONMENT QUALITY AUTHORITY, BAHAA AL-AGHA, SAYING: "This is a kind of visual pollution and environmental pollution whether to the soil or it could penetrate down to the underground water." GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 26, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKER CUTTING VEHICLE INTO PIECES VEHICLES AT DUMP GAZA CITY, GAZA (JANUARY 24, 2021) (REUTERS) DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING PALESTINIAN WORKERS WORKING ON SCRAPPING METAL
- Embargoed: 17th February 2021 09:28
- Keywords: Gaza Israel Palestinians metal scrap
- Location: GAZA CITY, GAZA / EREZ, ISRAEL
- City: GAZA CITY, GAZA / EREZ, ISRAEL
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001DY3BFWN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The rusting hulks of thousands of old cars brought into Gaza from Israel decades ago have long been piled up in Mad Max-style wastelands of decaying metal that scar the northern part of the Palestinian enclave.
That bleak scene is about to change.
Although the route up the coast to the Israeli cities of Jaffa, Haifa has been blocked to Palestinian vehicles and drivers by Israeli walls and checkpoints for years, a shift in Israeli policy means that thousands of the old cars and other pieces of scrap metal are now finally leaving Gaza.
Palestinian merchants estimate that some 200,000 tonnes of metal waste - from used truck parts to empty soda cans - have accumulated along Gaza's frontier since the imposition of an Israeli-led blockade in 2007.
But Israeli authorities in October cleared the metal for export to crushing plants inside Israel, creating a welcome source of revenue in impoverished Gaza.
Gazans sell the scrap metal for around 750 shekels ($228.16) per tonne. Israel allows 1,000 tonnes to be exported per week, a pace that would clear the backlog in four years.
Merchants say the exports have secured work for around 6,000 Palestinian labourers in Gaza, where unemployment is 49%.
"There is almost no work in town," said Emad Aqail, 39, who sorts metal into pressing machines ready for export. "Working in metals is exhausting, but it gives me the income I want."
Many Gazans would prefer to crush and recycle the metal for use inside the enclave, which is home to more than two million Palestinians.
But Israel and Egypt restrict the entry of machinery into the Gaza Strip, citing the security threat posed by its Islamist rulers, Hamas. Among the equipment prohibited is anything that could be used by militant groups to manufacture weapons - including new metal pressing machines.
Israel said the new scheme has so far earned around 3 million dollars for Gazans.
Lieutenant Colonel Abdallah Halabi, of Israel's Coordination and Liaison Administration for Gaza, said the aim was "to improve the Gaza Strip's economy, because the quality of life and economic development in the Gaza Strip can't be separated from the stability of the region's security."
Bahaa Al-Agha, of Gaza's Environment Quality Authority welcomed the clearout of a polluting hazard to Gaza's soil and water.
But the economic benefit would have been greater, he said, "if Israel allowed the establishment of factories to recycle these materials in the Gaza Strip."
(Production: Mohammed Shana, Fadi Shana, Arafat Barbakh, Mohammed Salem, Rami Amichay, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None