Gaza situation miserable due to Israel siege: Official
The daily living situation is seriously miserable in the besieged Gaza Strip with unemployment rate rising to 60 percent in the Israeli-blockaded coastal enclave, says a Palestinian official.
Palestinian Labor Minister Ma’moun Abu Shahla said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday that Israel’s blockade of Gaza has resulted in growing rates of poverty and unemployment.
“The reality of workers here is difficult and painful amid a relevant growth of poverty and unemployment rates,” Abu Shahla said. “It is all due to an endless Israeli blockade that has been imposed on Gaza for eight years and damaged its economy.”
He called on all Arab and international organizations to help end the Israeli blockade.
The Palestinian minister also said that Israel’s three large-scale wars on the Gaza Strip over the past seven years not only killed and wounded a large number of people, but also ruined the economic infrastructure, adding that “500 economic establishments were destroyed in the Gaza Strip” as a result of the wars.
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli siege since 2007. The blockade, which has cut off the territory from the outside world, has led to an economic and humanitarian crisis in the densely-populated enclave.
On April 30, the UN urged Israel to end its crippling blockade of the Gaza Strip.
“We in the United Nations, along with our partners in the international community, have a responsibility to ensure that Gaza is not just being reconstructed… but that the blockade which stops access to construction materials, to movement of people, goods… is lifted,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.
Israel waged three large-scale aerial and ground wars on the Gaza Strip in the past seven years. In its latest act of aggression last summer which lasted for 50 days, the regime killed about 2,200 Palestinians and inflicted heavy damage on Gaza’s infrastructure and economy.