Hebron is today considered a major vibrant city. Despite repeated closures and various pressures imposed upon its residents, especially due to settlement activities in and around it, construction as well as industrial and commercial investments are among the highest in the areas under Palestinian Authority control. Its dynamism is rooted in the energy and craftsmanship for which Hebron is famous, to say nothing of the enterprise which has transformed the city into the economic capital of Palestine.
Hebron has been famous for its traditional handicrafts since the Middle Ages. It is also known for its various crops such as grapes and olives. Its people are well versed in trade and industry, and many ancient trades are still practiced today. These include glass-blowing, and the manufacture of terracotta products. Many modern industries have also boomed, such as shoemaking, stonecutting, weighing scale and metal furniture manufacturing, as well as a few other foodstuff and chemical industries. Studies conducted over the last ten years indicate that Hebron has become Palestine’s major centre for industry and trade.
Moreover, some of its inhabitants work in agriculture, as the city is surrounded by fertile valleys and mountains. During past decades, tourism had been a major source of revenue for many Hebron residents, with their city being included in all tourist itineraries. However, this revenue has diminished due to the city’s political turmoil, which has pushed tourism back to pre-18th century levels.
Hebron’s first chamber of commerce was established in Hebron in 1954, with the aim of servicing the economic sector, thus boosting local society. In 1995, the business forum was created to revive the economy and facilitate trade exchanges between Hebron and other regions. The city also welcomed many industries such as food production, plastics, chemicals, tourism, metallurgy and leather manufacturing.