Gaza’s Economy Crumbling Under Blockade

The World Bank is reporting that Gaza’s economy is in “free fall” thanks to Israel’s 11-year blockade of the Palestinian territory.

The report found that youth unemployment is at an alarming 70% while overall unemployment hovers at 50%, creating a situation in which people are unable to cope with the rising cost of living.

Recent cuts in humanitarian aid, particularly from the United States, have further debilitated an already desperate populace facing malnutrition and disease.

“A combination of war, isolation, and internal rivalries has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress.”  — Marina Wes, regional director for the World Bank

In addition to the effects of the blockade and the reduced humanitarian aid, the territory is also suffering from the Palestinian Authority’s decision to cut monthly payments to the region by $30 million.

The World Bank urged Israel to lift trade restrictions as well as restrictions on the movement of people and resources to help stimulate Gaza’s economy ahead of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting this Thursday.

The Committee is responsible for coordinating assistance to Palestine.

Palestinians have engaged in weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza border fence since March 30; Israeli soldiers have killed 174 protesters, 27 of them minors, and have injured more than 18,000.

The United Nations has called for an investigation into the use of excessive force on the part of Israeli Defense Soldiers.

Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow the situation in Gaza.

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