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Blaze in Kibbutz Factory, Previously Shelled by Jordan, Cripples Output

Experts investigated today a fire that destroyed the greater part of the plywood factory at Afikim in the Jordan Valley south of Lake Tiberias. The blaze, which lasted a full day, did an estimated IL 5 million ($1.4 million) damage and paralyzed production for at least several months. The Government has promised to provide all necessary assistance to start the factory producing again. Afikim was damaged by Jordanian shells several weeks ago. Its plywood factory, the largest in Israel, produces mainly for export. It was one of the first kibbutzim to establish an export industry and, in the early 1950s began importing tropical logs from West Africa.