The textile and clothing industry of the Gaza Strip is set to benefit from last week’s decision by the Israeli Government to ease export restrictions on garment and textile products from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian territory. 

The Israeli government’s Security Cabinet has announced in a communiqué (December 8) that it had approved measures to expedite increased exports from the Gaza Strip with the goal of “assisting its economy and easing the burden of the Gazan population under the repressive Hamas terrorist regime.”

The export restrictions were initially imposed in 2007, when Hamas took control of the area.

The Palestinian garments and textiles sector employs an estimated 65,000 workers in the West Bank and Gaza and contributes approximately 15% of Palestinian manufacturing output. T-shirts, cotton shirts, and other men’s and ladies’ wear are exported to a number of countries in Europe, the US and Arab countries such as Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt.