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According to Gulf News, Israel has banned West Bank-based tanners from importing chrome salts for leather making. They report that at least ten tanneries in Hebron have shut down and hundreds of workers have been laid-off after running out of supplies of chromium sulphate.
The Palestinian Ministry of National Economy said on May 11 that Israel institutes such bans to force Palestinian factories to import their raw materials from Israel. Palestinians have been importing their chrome needs from Arab states, particularly the Gulf States. Hebron in the southern West Bank has long been famous for the production of high quality leather products and is home to 15 tanners.
The ban on importing chrome by Israel is based on alleged environmental effects say Gulf News sources in Hebron. The Palestinian leather manufacturers have been using the materials for decades in their industry and that it had never proved harmful alleging that the ban maybe politically rather environmentally motivated.