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50% of Palestinians in Gaza lack source of income: report

Half of Palestinians in Gaza lack a source of income: General Union of Palestinian Workers
MENA
4 min read
06 April, 2023
"More than half of Gaza's population has no source of daily income as a result of the unemployment rate reaching more than 60 per cent, poverty rates reached about 64 per cent, while food insecurity rates reached 70 per cent," the report said.
"More than half of Gaza's population has no source of daily income as a result of the unemployment rate reaching more than 60 per cent, poverty rates reached about 64 per cent, while food insecurity rates reached 70 per cent," the report said. [Getty]

In the besieged coastal enclave, more than half of the Palestinians in Gaza lack a source of income as a result of the illegal Israeli blockade imposed on the territory since 2007,  according to statistics recently issued by a report of the General Union of Palestinian Workers in Gaza.

"More than half of Gaza's population has no source of daily income as a result of the unemployment rate reaching more than 60 per cent, poverty rates reached about 64 per cent, while food insecurity rates reached 70 per cent," the report said.

As a result, nearly 1.5 million people depend on aid provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees "UNRWA" and other relief institutions operating in the Strip, the report noted.

For more than 16 years, the Israeli occupation has imposed a tightened blockade on Gaza under the pretext of curbing the power of Hamas, which won the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006 and took the power of the Strip.

Moreover, the Israeli army launched five large-scale wars on Gaza, destroying a high percentage of its governmental and residential facilities, factories, as well as civilian infrastructure.

Since then, the economic and political situations have deteriorated in the Gaza Strip and the rates of unemployment and poverty have increased significantly, which negatively affected people's lives, socially and psychologically too.

Saleh Abu Ajwa, a resident of the al-Shujaiya neighbourhood in Gaza, lost his factory which used to produce candies during the 2014 Israeli war and became unemployed.

"I lost have of my profits when Israel imposed its blockade and prevented me from exporting our products to the West Bank. But it completely ended my career when [the Israeli army] attacked my six-floor residential house and factory in 2014," the 62-year-old father of seven children said to The New Arab. 

According to Abu Ajwa, his losses amounted to more than $US 4 million, but he has only been compensated the equivalent of $US 750,000 dollars

"For many years, I waited to get the financial compensation to rebuild the factory and the house, but the compensation I got from the Hamas-run local authorities was not even enough to build half of my house," he said. 

Currently, Abu Ajwa and his four sons are struggling to find work.  "Neither my sons nor have I had success in obtaining any permanent job opportunity, which led my sons to work on a daily basis, while each one gets paid the equivalent of only $US 20 a day," he added. 

According to Abu Ajwa, the profits of his sons barely help them to live as they depend on the food aid provided by the UN Development Program (UNDP) and other international institutions.

Abu Ajwa and his four sons are among a million people who do not have any fixed income that allows them to provide basic needs, as noted by the statistics recently issued by a report of the General Union of Palestinian Workers in Gaza.

Sami Al-Amsi, a senior official at the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza, asserted to TNA that "the high unemployment rate among the population makes half of them without a fixed daily income source in light of the decline in average wages in general in the Strip as a result of the absence of a minimum law."

"In Gaza, there are more than 250,000 unemployed workers, while there are about 120,000 workers looking for jobs to make some money," al-Amasi said.

"The Israeli occupation allowed only 14,000 people to work inside the occupied territories and such little number did not reduce the number of residents who have no daily source of income," he added.

The population of the Gaza Strip is currently more than 2.3 million, with expectations that the population will reach more than 3 million people by 2030, according to the latest statistics issued by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics this past January.

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The New Arab Staff & Agencies