Каменная промышленность в Палестине – старая профессия, которая обновляется.

Implementation of modern experience and equipment in mining, engraving and decoration

Palestinians have been digging stones from the ground for centuries to build temples, churches and mosques, and then houses, before this turned into an industry in which tens of thousands of people work in hundreds of factories in the West Bank.

The stone industry in Palestine is centuries old, but it did not develop into an economic activity until the 1920s, before it was the # 1 exported overseas industry now, after becoming a burgeoning economic activity.

The industry accounts for 4.5 percent of Palestinian domestic product with an annual income of about $ 600 million, 65 percent of which is exported to Israel, 20 percent abroad and 15 percent to the local Palestinian market.

Palestinian stone reaches about 80 countries around the world, including China, the countries of Europe and the Persian Gulf, as well as Jordan, which, in addition to artificial stone, annually imports about 8,400 cubic meters of raw stone cubes worth $ 4 million.

Around 20,000 people work in the industry directly and 100,000 indirectly in more than 1,200 businesses, most of which are stone factories and the rest are quarries, concentrated in the governorates of Hebron and Bethlehem in the south of the West Bank.

Engraving and decoration

The journey in this industry begins with the quarries, where it is mined from the ground after a discovery process by still primitive means, then cut with a saw and cut into cubes called “squares” and transported to stone factories.

Upon arrival at the factories, the process of cutting these cubes into stone pieces of various sizes according to the use begins, some for marble and others as small stones for exterior construction.

After the stone cutting process, decorations and designs are engraved on these stones upon request, either by hand using a “chisel” or using electronic machines (lathes).

Residential buildings and buildings in Palestine are distinguished by their stone construction, but with varying degrees and quality of finishes in accordance with the assigned construction cost. However, Palestinian stone and marble are not all the same, so there are many types. colors and durability depending on the area of ​​their extraction, despite the fact that these are all sandy rocks. While Nablus and Jenin are distinguished by their white stones, the stones of Ramallah and Bethlehem are predominantly white and black, while the stone of Jerusalem is red and in Hebron it is white and yellow.

6th in the world

More than 80 percent of the Palestinian quarantine is located in Area C, which is fully controlled by Israel and makes up over 60 percent of the West Bank.

Since 1995, Israel has not issued special permits to Palestinians to mine stone, according to the head of the Federation of Stone and Marble Industries, Samih Tawabteh, who said that for ten years the Palestinians could not mine stone due to the lack of stone in the areas in which they work. …

Thavabet added that the quarry owners are working with old permits, which are renewed annually, and they are valid for work in certain areas that Israel does not allow expansion.

Factory owners complain about impediments to exports due to Israel’s control of border crossings in addition to its control of the vital water sector for the stone industry.

According to Thawabet, Palestinian stone is ranked sixth in the world for quality and is considered the most exported Palestinian commodity abroad.

Some Palestinian companies hold international quality certifications in an attempt to provide such certifications to all Palestinian companies to facilitate the export of this product.

Through their experience, workers in the area knew the areas where they dug to find stones, and then dug them out with primitive methods using “banadi and hand cutting” before developing their tools and using saws.


With the aim of developing this industry and keeping pace with the times, the Palestinian Stone Center was established at the Palestinian Polytechnic University to provide the stone industry with specialized personnel and modern equipment to determine the location of the stone and its depth in the formation. soil and stone quality control center.

The head of the center, Jawad al-Hajj, says the center awards degrees in stone technology and includes a research and advisory unit as well as a geophysical unit to investigate the layers of the earth before excavation.

Al-Hajj added that this device saves time, effort and money for quarry owners, and the center was created using Italian expertise and equipment.

Al-Hajj points out that work is underway that requires geophysical surveys before quarrying begins, in order to abandon the old methods based on trial and error .