Steel companies in Israel, including major ones in the largest city of Tel Aviv, are being warned that the war with the Palestinian militant group Hamas is intensifying and that the risks to their business are growing.
Steel giants ADK and Iglo have said they will not finance new projects in Gaza, a decision that could have serious consequences for the industries in the densely populated and heavily guarded coastal enclave, where Hamas controls the territory’s commercial and industrial sectors.
The announcement comes amid a war of words between the Israeli and Palestinian governments, which have both accused each other of breaching international law by using force against each other in Gaza in 2014.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the closure of the entire Gaza Strip and called for an end to Israel’s military campaign in the enclave, which has killed thousands of Palestinians and left nearly 2,000 injured.
The Gaza conflict erupted in 2014 after Hamas took control of the enclave following a three-year Israeli military campaign that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead.
Since then, Israeli authorities have been using lethal force in Gaza against Hamas fighters, while the UN and the International Criminal Court have launched probes into the violence.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs Gaza, has also demanded that Israel end its military campaign and allow UN inspectors into Gaza, an demand that Israel says it will respect.
Israel says it has been using a “full-spectrum” offensive against Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza.
Israel has also imposed an embargo on Gaza exports to the rest of the world and is threatening to cut off the Strip’s oil supplies.