Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

Palestinians make 'largest dress'

Giant dress in Hebron (25 October 2009)
The dress was unveiled at a football stadium in the West Bank

Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron have sewn what they believe is the world's largest embroidered dress.

About 150 women helped make the dress, which is 32.6m (107ft) long and 18.1m (59.4ft) wide, organisers said.

It is hoped that the dress will secure a place in the Guinness Book of World records and promote local handicrafts.

Many women in the West Bank have turned to handicrafts for income since Israeli restrictions imposed after the second intifada caused the economy to decline.

The Palestinian economy lost ground for the ninth year in a row in 2008, with a 1.2% decline in per capita GDP and a rise in the unemployment rate to 32%, according to a recent UN report.

The economic decline was rooted in Israel's restrictions on the movement of people and goods, the erosion of the Palestinian productive base, the loss of some of the territory's most fertile land and natural resources to the Israeli barrier in the West Bank, and expanding settlement activities there, the report said.

The Israeli government says the restrictions are essential to prevent Palestinian militants from entering Israel and attacking Israeli civilians.

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