For the fifth year in a row, 2000 has been defined as a stagnating period in Israel's food industry, with just 1% growth, according to Gezy Kaplan, Chairman of the Food Division of the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Kaplan, speaking on 27 December, said that since the outbreak of hostilities three months ago, "there has been a 13% decline in food sales to the domestic institutional sector, such as hotels and restaurants, and a 50% drop in sales of food to the Palestinian Authority." Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, Israeli food sales to the Palestinian Authority amounted to nearly US$10m per month, whereas in the past three months sales totalled half that amount.