Business sector sources say the loss to enterprises in the south during the Israel Defense Forces' eight-day Pillar of Defense operation in the Gaza Strip was about NIS 625 million. Although most of that is indirect loss rather than property damage, five manufacturing plants in southern Israel suffered direct hits from Palestinian rocket fire. Other manufacturers suffered indirect damage due to a drop in sales or customers who made purchases from the competition.

The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry is expected to give some benefits to businesses in outlying areas of the south that will not be provided to businesses in outlying areas of the north. Industry Minister Shalom Simhon has instructed his staff to assess the situation among businesses in the region and to draw up a plan that will include assistance to exporters who wish to preserve their contacts abroad with the help of ministry emissaries. The ministry is also expected to fund the National Insurance Institute payments of self-employed business people who were called up to the reserves.

Among manufacturing facilities within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip alone economic losses are estimated at NIS 200 million, the Manufacturers Association says.

This includes lost production due to the inability of employees to show up for work and lower productivity of those who did work, sometimes with repeated interruptions due to rocket attacks.