Israel releases ice-cream equipment damaged and unusable
Gaza – A factory owner in Gaza was shocked to find that equipment he ordered from overseas, which was held in an Israeli port for several years, has been dismantled, with some parts missing and others broken.
Mohammad Al-Telbani, owner of Al-Auda ice-cream and biscuit factory, hoped to develop new lines of potato chips and biscuits with the equipment, which Israeli authorities have held in Ashdod for the last four years. The damaged equipment was worth more than €1.5 million.
Al-Telbani said, “after all of this suffering and all of these huge losses I received the machines dismantled, broken, and with missing parts from the Israelis who released them after being pressured by International and Israeli organizations.” He added that he will not be able to use the machines.
The businessman said his losses were compounded as he had paid more than 1500 shekels ($400) in storage fees while Israeli authorities impounded his goods.
Israeli officials said they withheld the machinery as its pipes could have been used to manufacture home-made projectiles.
The ice-cream manufacturer noted that Israel’s claims to have eased the siege are misleading attempts to improve its public image, and urged international organizations to pressure the Israeli government to release all of his machinery, including the missing parts, so he can upgrade his factory.