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Palestine’s Tech & Startup Industry Hit Hard Amid Israel-Hamas Conflict

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The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has dealt a severe blow to Palestine’s flourishing tech and startup industry, which had been steadily growing despite the economic challenges faced by the region. The conflict has disrupted investments, infrastructure, and daily operations in a sector that showed promise in recent years.

Investment Fallout:

Estimates suggest that as much as $10 million in recent investments has been disrupted within the Palestinian tech ecosystem, as reported by TechCrunch. The conflict has had a detrimental impact on a range of tech initiatives that were striving to make progress in the region.

Tech Initiatives in Palestine:

Several initiatives had been nurturing the Palestinian tech industry. In 2017, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff supported the establishment of the first-ever coding academy in Gaza. The Alphabet-backed initiative, ‘Gaza Sky Geeks,’ had been providing pre-seed investments, training, and technology resources to the Gazan population. In 2022, approximately 5,000 coders and developers from the West Bank and Gaza graduated from this program.

Promising Ventures Affected:

Prominent companies emerging from Palestine’s tech industry, including Menalytics (data analytics), Olivery (last-mile logistics), Coretava (employee and customer loyalty), and Sellenvo (an Amazon fulfillment partner), have been severely impacted. These companies had secured investments and were making strides in their respective fields.

Challenges for the Tech Sector:

Iliana Montauk, co-founder and CEO of social impact startup Manara, voiced her concerns, stating that the situation in Gaza is “completely different for the tech sector for several reasons.” The conflict has resulted in power outages, infrastructure damage, and the destruction of buildings housing essential communication equipment. This has made it almost impossible for the tech sector to function effectively in Gaza.

Manara, which is funded by Y Combinator and others, employs around 100 software engineers in Gaza. Many of them had been working remotely for tech companies in Silicon Valley and Europe. However, the conflict has disrupted their work, with most people losing access to cell phone connections and internet services.

Entrepreneurial Resilience:

Entrepreneurs like Mohammad Alnobani, founder of The Middle Frame, an AI-powered stock image platform, are facing daily challenges as they strive to keep their businesses operational during the conflict. The tech industry’s resilience is evident as these professionals navigate challenging conditions to keep their ventures alive.

Israeli Preparations:

On the other side, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have reported that preparations for a “significant ground operation” in the Gaza Strip are nearing completion. Tens of thousands of Israeli soldiers have been deployed at the Gaza border in anticipation of a large-scale ground operation.

Casualties:

According to health authorities in Gaza, the conflict has led to more than 1,900 Palestinians killed and nearly 7,700 wounded by Israeli airstrikes. Israel reports that over 1,300 people were killed during rocket attacks and raids into its territory by Hamas fighters.

The conflict continues to take a heavy toll on the region, affecting not only the lives of its people but also the budding tech and startup industry that had shown tremendous promise.

Maya Patel
Maya Patelhttps://twitter.com/Patel_Maya2009
Maya Patel, an accomplished industries writer at CEO Scoop Magazine, explores the dynamic world of various sectors. With a background in business journalism and a knack for in-depth research, Maya sheds light on the latest trends and innovations within industries. Her articles provide CEOs and industry leaders with valuable insights to navigate the challenges and opportunities that define the modern business landscape.

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