The locals are trying to find means of producing machines on their own.
Palestinians redesign scrap to make machinery in besieged Gaza. There is an old saying that necessity is the mother of invention. The draconian situation that the people of Gaza have been experiencing for 14 long years has led them to create something big from something simple in order to survive.
Several people are successfully transforming scrap metal. Momen Abed Al-qader Abu Raida, 29, from Gaza uses his skills to help create machines that are not allowed to enter the Gaza strip, as Israeli occupation authorities control all commercial crossings.
Electric Cars in Palestine
Abu Raida recently made an electric car for elderly people for the first time locally. He said ” My electric car has two batteries, each one is 24 Volt, and they provide the car with the necessary electricity.”
The car includes a voltage regulator that tells us about the battery, switch and power grid that has many fuses to prevent any short from happening. “The idea came to me after seeing that the elderly and the poor people are in dire need of such vehicle. So they can travel using this car without the need of petro fuel – that sometimes is difficult and expensive to find.” He further added that such electric vehicles also help the environment.
In Abu Raida’s small workshop, there is not much sophistication. He uses simple tools like metal slugs, a drill, screwdrivers and welding machine, yet he manages to create something useful.
Water bikes in Palestine
Meanwhile, on the seashore in northern Gaza Strip, the 24-year-old Muhammad Arrade’ began preparing his handmade water bike. He was conducting the fourth test on the device and to make sure that it traveled in the water without problems.
With the support of a friend, Muhammad began to slide the water bike towards the sea, moving quickly, and jumping on the seat, and started his journey. Muhammad described the “excitement” on the open sea, even though he was afraid to swim.
The bike is made of used water pipes, iron pieces of scrap, and two plastic water barrels. It took more than a week to piece together. Muhammed said the parts cost him no more than $100. Muhammad has feared swimming since his childhood. Yet he tried carefully to think of how he can challenge his fear and create something useful for his
“My workshop was closed but I wanted to make use of my time so I made the bike.” For a period that lasted about a month during the pandemic lockdown, he started analysing and manufacturing the vehicle in the town of Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip.
Economic Conditions in Gaza
The economic conditions throughout Gaza continue to deteriorate due to the Israeli blockade now in its 14th year. And things have only worsened in the spreading pandemic in the impoverished coastal enclave. Muhammad pointed out that his new water bike had already helped pull three people stranded in the sea to reach the beach safely.
MP Jamal Al-Khudari, head of the Popular Committee Against the Siege, confirmed that all Gaza Strip factories have been damaged during pandemic, and hundreds have permanently shut their doors leaving thousands of workers jobless.
Al-Khudari indicated that the occupation specifically targets the Palestinian economy, especially the industrial sector. The Israeli occupation is still preventing the entry of most of the raw materials needed for industry, under the pretext of “dual use”.
As a result of the apartheid policies, these factories were turned into empty iron structures without any economic use, while direct and indirect financial losses were recorded in excess of $70 million per month.
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