Gaza’s Only Pharmaceutical Factory Struggling to Survive Israeli Restrictions

Gaza health services are struggling due to severe lack of fuel and acute shortage in medical supplies. (Photo: via MEMO)

The only pharmaceutical factory in the Gaza Strip is struggling to survive Israeli restrictions and the economic crises brought about by the 12-year siege imposed on the coastal enclave.

The factory has been subjected to Israeli military attacks since 2003, long before the siege was imposed on the Strip in 2007, which caused an economic crisis, halted the factory’s development and caused production to drop by 80 percent.

The general manager of Middle East Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Laboratories – or Megapharm, to which the factory is affiliated – Marwan Al-Astal, explained that:

“Israeli attacks on the factory started in 2003 when the occupation army stormed its headquarters in the town of Beit Hanoun and stayed there for three months. During this period, lots of equipment, machines and raw materials were destroyed.”

Al-Astal also pointed out that the Israeli army targeted the factory headquarters with rockets during the wars waged on Gaza Strip in 2008, 2012, and 2014. He estimated the losses caused by Israeli attacks on the factory since 2003 to exceed one million dollars.

He added:

“Israel is fighting against this factory because it wants to stop any Palestinian pharmaceutical industry, which represents a strategic and important industry.”

The suspension of the pharmaceutical factory’s production for a year and a half, as well as Israel’s prohibiting the exportation of its products to foreign markets, caused the factory to lose millions of dollars and curb its development.

The obstacles facing the factory have halted any further recruitment and the current number of employees is 51.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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