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Gaza - Gaza Tailor Makes kippahs For Jewish Worshippers

Published on: March 13, 2017 10:00 PM
By: Reuters
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A Palestinian man makes skull caps, also known as kippot or yarmulke for Jewish worshippers, at a sewing factory in Gaza City March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu MustafaA Palestinian man makes skull caps, also known as kippot or yarmulke for Jewish worshippers, at a sewing factory in Gaza City March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

Gaza - It’s not easy doing business from Gaza but tailor Mohammad Abu Shanab has found a demand he can supply—his sewing factory is churning out religious skull caps, for devout Jewish men.

Since Israel resumed importing clothing from Gaza in 2015, Abu Shanab has renewed commercial contacts to sell merchandise to neighboring Israel. With salaries in Gaza much lower, Abu Shanab’s costs are very competitive.

“We make all kinds of clothes and recently began making the skull caps that are worn by Israeli rabbis and Christian priests,” said Abu Shanab, adding that as far as Gazans were concerned, religion was not an obstacle.

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“In the foundation of our religion, we believe in Christianity and Judaism, we believe in the prophets Musa (Moses) and Issa (Jesus), so we have no problem making the headwear even if they are for Jews or Christians.”

Abu Shanab, 61, added a new production line to cater to the increased demand, even as the pace remains slow and exporting goods from the blockaded territory is rife with bureaucracy.

Israel imposes strict export procedures which greatly increase transport costs. Every shipment, no matter how small, must be sent separately.

A Palestinian man shows bow ties and skull caps, also known as kippot or yarmulke for Jewish worshippers, at a sewing factory in Gaza City March 11, 2017.  REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu MustafaA Palestinian man shows bow ties and skull caps, also known as kippot or yarmulke for Jewish worshippers, at a sewing factory in Gaza City March 11, 2017.  REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

So far Abu Shanab has sent 400 skull caps, also known as kippot or yarmulkes, and 1,000 bow ties to his Israeli client. Gaza factories also make goods according to design specifications of Israeli companies who send them the fabric.

Abu Shanab said he is also in talks with an Israeli buyer to produce the long coats worn by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Before Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007, after defeating forces loyal to the party of President Mahmoud Abbas, the territory’s sewing sector was one the largest employers with over 900 factories employing around 40,000 people.

But in the past decade, Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza and its two million people. Unemployment stands at 43 percent and 80 percent of the population is dependent on aid, according to the United Nations.

“Before (2007) I used to employ 70 workers but later I could keep only 10 to 15 of them,” said Hassan Shehada, another factory owner.

“Today I have 50 workers and I can increase it to 100,” he said.

But there’s still some way to go. Shehada said Israeli clients are afraid to trade with Gaza out of fear that another violent flare-up would force crossings to close and lead to financial losses.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 13, 2017 at 10:28 PM K Says:

I wouldn't buy or wear!

2

 Mar 14, 2017 at 12:42 AM ayoyo Says:

Soon they will be making shtriemls also.

3

 Mar 14, 2017 at 02:15 AM Anonymous Says:

My husband says the current exchange rate is 1 shekel = 1 bullet.

4

 Mar 14, 2017 at 08:26 AM Politically correct Says:

I wonder if he wants to export to the EU ,whether they will enforce a label, stating Made in Gaza

5

 Mar 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM Anonymous Says:

There is nothing in violation of Halacha, about this sort of transaction. We are speaking about headwear, and not seforim;

6

 Mar 14, 2017 at 11:12 AM sammy Says:

I would support it. The best way to combat the extremists is to support the normal ones. Hamas has a strong hand over the people there because they supply all the aid. If people can have regular jobs they would turn against Hamas. They all know Hamas is not good for their economy.

7

 Mar 14, 2017 at 12:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
sammy Says:

I would support it. The best way to combat the extremists is to support the normal ones. Hamas has a strong hand over the people there because they supply all the aid. If people can have regular jobs they would turn against Hamas. They all know Hamas is not good for their economy.

Than why did they vote in Hamas to begin with?

8

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