Palestinians inspect the damage at the site of an Israeli air strike in the southern Gaza Strip November 22, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
The United Nations conference that took place on Wednesday, shed light on the effect of the Israeli blockade and the military operations on the poverty rate in Gaza during the period 2007-2018.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) took place virtually where Dr. Mahmoud El-khafif, Coordinator of UNCTAD’s Assistance to the Palestinian People Unit, discussed their report.
According to the United Nations General Assembly resolutions, the UNCTAD report has been submitted. This report clarifies the economic costs of the Israeli occupation for Palestinian people.
The unemployment rate in Gaza changed by 49.4 percent after the blockade rose from 34.8 per cent in 2006 to 52 per cent in 2018. That marked Gaza as the country with one of the world’s highest unemployment rates.
The poverty rate in Gaza jumped from 39 per cent in 2007 to 55.4 per cent in 2017, with a change of 42.1 per cent, while the poverty gap increased from 14 to 20 per cent.
$629 million measured the cost of the Israeli blockade in terms of poverty, as the annual minimum cost of eliminating poverty jumped from $209 million to $838 million.
Gaza’s share in OPT Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 31.1per cent in 2006 to 18.1 per cent in 2018, with a –42 per cent change. Consequently, the investment share in OPT GDP went from 9.5 per cent to 2.7 per cent within the same period, with a -71.6 per cent difference. The GDP per capita in Gaza shrunk by 27 per cent.
Gaza’s share of the Palestinian economy decreased from 31 per cent to 18 per cent, while Gaza’s local economy grew by 4.8 per cent only.
El-Khafif talked about the three Israeli military operations that the Gaza strip endured through the period from 2007 to 2018, mentioning that the first military operation that took place from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 resulted in the death of 1,440 people.
It also resulted in the wounding of 5,380 people, displacing more than 100,000 and destroying 4,036 housing units while 11,514 were partially damaged.
In addition to direct damage to more than 700 commercial, industrial and service businesses while 268 others were completely damaged.
In November 2012, the second Israeli military operation took place in the Gaza strip. It resulted in the death of 133 people, the wounding 840 and the damaging of 559 enterprises, according to the UNCTAD report.
And last but not least, the third Israeli military operation, that lasted from 7 July till 26 August 2014, resulted in the death of 2,220 people at least, displacing one-third of Gaza’s population at that time, while 60 per cent of Gaza’s housing stock were either damaged or destructed.
It also resulted in the destruction of public infrastructures such as energy, water, sanitation, health and educational facilities and government buildings.