Palestinian workers make protective suits at a factory in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, on March 22, 2020. A Gaza factory, which is located in the coastal enclave town of Beit Lahia, has succeeded in producing protective suits following China's standards. (Photo by Rizek Abdeljawad/Xinhua)
by Sanaa Kamal
GAZA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A Gaza factory, which is located in the coastal enclave town of Beit Lahia, has succeeded in producing protective suits following China's standards.
The owner of the factory, Hassan Olwan, came up with the idea of producing protective suits when the Palestinian government declared a set of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"I felt that I have to hold my responsibility towards my community," the 33-year-old father of two told Xinhua.
"China shows the true meaning of social solidarity," he said. "Its people presented lessons for us how we can protect ourselves from the virus."
Olwan praised Chinese people for abiding by their government instructions for a few months, which is "the most crucial thing that helped them to overcome the disease."
Therefore, the Palestinian young man started his initiative to produce protective suits, taking advice from his Chinese friends.
"Dozens of my Chinese friends provided the standards of production for free," Olwan. "They want to help the people in the blockaded Gaza Strip."
Every day, Olwan's factory is producing about 500 pieces of such suits. Each piece is sold at around 30 U.S. dollars, "a suitable price for most of the people," he said.
Olwan added doctors, security forces, journalists, and some others will benefit from these protective suits.
Meanwhile, the small factory has contributed to providing about 50 job opportunities for unemployed workers, according to Saed Habob, once an owner of a local sewing factory in Beit Lahia town.
Habob, who is in his 30s, has stopped his factory that had more than 500 workers since 2007, right after Israel imposed a tight blockade on Gaza Strip.
He said that 50 of his previous workers now work in Olwan's factory and earn money for their families; every one earns 11 U.S. dollars for 12 hours.
A Gaza-based committee resisting the Israeli blockade has warned in January that Israel's embargo has led to a severe humanitarian deterioration in all aspects of life in the coastal enclave.
For his part, Hussein Abu Aqleen, eventually breathed a sigh of relief because he found a job, earning some money to live at a stable level.
"I work for 12 hours and earn enough money for my family," Abu Aqleen said, adding he is happy to produce, for the first time, protective suits that help people avoid the virus.
Palestine so far has recorded 59 cases infected with the novel coronavirus, including two in the Gaza Strip.
On March 5, the Palestinian Authority declared a state of emergency for one month right after the first COVID-19 case was discovered in the district of Bethlehem.