Gaza’s Pepsi bottling company was forced to halt operations this week due to Israeli import restrictions that were tightened during its 11-day assault on the Strip, Reuters reported the company’s owners saying.
A ceasefire was agreed on May 20 and came into effect in the early hours of the following day. Though Israel has carried out airstrikes against Gaza a number of times since then, resistance factions have not responded with fire.
Occupation authorities have also kept in place tightened measures on raw material imports, including carbon dioxide gas and syrup that the bottling company’s factory needs to produce Pepsi, 7UP, and Mirinda soda, said Pepsi Gaza’s Hamam Al-Yazeji.
“Yesterday, we completely ran out of raw materials, and unfortunately we had to shut down the factory, sending home 250 workers,” Al-Yazeji said. Before the May fighting, he said, Pepsi Gaza was generally allowed to import needed materials.
Israeli occupation officials did not immediately provide comments on the tightened restrictions.
Shutdowns could also occur in other Gaza factories if Israeli restrictions are kept up, analysts say. Manufacturing makes up around ten percent of Gaza’s service sector-dominated economy, according to UN data.
Source: Palestine Chronicle