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About two thirds of Gaza’s population are impoverished: Euro-Med Monitor

Gaza's blockade

Geneva, (Business  News Report) – About 1.5 million of the Gaza’s total population of 2.3 million have become impoverished due to the Israeli blockade and restrictions imposed on the Strip since 2006, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said in a report.

Euro-Med Monitor released Tuesday a report, titled “Bitter 16: A Generation Bred in Captivity”, documenting dire effects of the Israeli blockade on the social, economic, and humanitarian levels.

The report said indicators of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza multiplied due to the blockade.

The unemployment rate has risen from 23.6% before the imposition of the blockade in 2005 to 50.2% at the end of 2021—one of the highest in the world, Euro-Med Monitor said.

Poverty has risen sharply among Gaza’s population due to Israeli closures and bans, from 40% in 2005 to 69% in 2021, said the report.

Crippling blockade

Since the beginning of the blockade, Gaza’s economy has been crippled with the almost complete closure of commercial crossings. As a result the the economic movement was paralyzed, especially during the Israeli attacks over the past three decades, according to the report.

Gaza’s contribution to the overall Palestinian economy has shrunk by half to reach no more than 18% in 2021.

Thousands of economic, service, and production facilities were disrupted, destroyed, or damaged during the Israeli military attacks during the years of the blockade.

The last military attack in May 2021 alone resulted in the destruction of hundreds of economic facilities, with total losses of about $400 million, the report said.

The health sector is one of the most affected by the blockade since Israel prevents or limits the entry of medicines and medical supplies into Gaza, causing health care services to decline by 66%, according to the report.

The report indicated that Israel only allows limited—mostly humanitarian—cases to move through the Erez Crossing, which is the only Israeli crossing designated for the entry and exit of individuals to and from Gaza.

According to the Gisha, the monthly average of cases Israel allowed to exit through the Erez Crossing was 30,000 cases before the blockade was imposed. The average fell by 70% since then, to reach 8,954 cases a month.

Euro-Med Monitor called on the international community to pressure Israel to end its illegal blockade.

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