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Gaza’s traditional crafts industries rapidly disappearing

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — When Gazans think of better economic times, images of clay pottery, colorful glassware, bamboo furniture and ancient frame looms weaving bright rugs and mats all come to mind.

For decades, these traditional crafts defined the economy of the coastal Palestinian enclave, employing thousands of people and exporting across the region. Today, the industries are almost non-existent.

While such professions have shrunk worldwide in the face of globalization and Chinese mass production, Gazan business owners say Israel’s 12-year blockade of the territory has accelerated the trend.

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