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Israeli forces close 2 factories in Bethlehem, putting 150 out of work

Nov. 17, 2015 1:27 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2015 6:30 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Tuesday closed two stone factories in Juret al-Shamaa village south of Bethlehem for "security reasons," an owner of one of the factories told Ma'an.

Ibrahim Fawaghra, owner of Fawaghra Stone Factory told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the village on Tuesday morning and forced the owners of the two factories to close on the grounds that Palestinian youth have thrown stones at Israeli forces from an area near the factory.

Israeli forces allegedly told the owners that the factories would not be allowed to reopen.

Fawaghra said that the two factories employ at least 150 Palestinian, highlighting that those workers will no longer receive an income and urging the responsible authorities to do something that might prevent Israel's actions.

In September, the World Bank warned of the "high risk" of renewed Palestine-Israel conflict following the third straight year of increasing poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The organization pointed to ongoing restrictions by Israel, as well as other issues such as reduced donor aid, the suspension of revenue payments and war, as having had "a severe impact on the Palestinian economy."

According to World Bank figures, unemployment stood at around 16 percent in the occupied West Bank.
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