Ongoing Israeli aggression have wiped out at least 66% of employment in the Gaza Strip: ILO

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Dec 2023

At least 66 % of employment has been lost in the Gaza Strip and around 32% in the occupied West Bank, since the war began, according to the estimation of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment on Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. AP


The ILO and PCBS indicate in their second bulletin that the ongoing Israeli hostilities that erupted on 7 October have wiped out at least 192,000 jobs in the Gaza Strip.

The continuing Israeli aggression also increasingly impacts economic conditions in the West Bank, where estimates now indicate that around 32 per cent of employment has been lost since 7 October, equivalent to 276,000 jobs.

A total of 468,000 jobs are estimated to have been lost across the occupied Palestinian territory as of 30 November 2023 while the previous estimate was 390,000 jobs expected to be lost which led to a daily labour income losses of $20.5 million US dollars.

The bulletin expects the unemployment rate in Palestine to increase from 24 per cent in the 4th quarter of 2022 to a staggering 46.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2023, which will have a grave impact on the devastating humanitarian and economic situation especially in Gaza.

The bulletin projects that employment will decline in all economic sectors, except for the agricultural sector.

“The Palestinians of Gaza are in the midst of a humanitarian catastrophe of epic proportions,” said ILO Regional Director for Arab States Ruba Jaradat. 

Jaradat said that the repercussions on the lives and livelihoods of affected communities "are beyond anything seen in the occupied Palestinian territory before."

She added that "the economic, social and development impact also has grave cascading implications for the labour market, not only in Gaza but also in the West Bank".

For her part, PCBS President Ola Awad said, “The ongoing war has significantly impacted all aspects of life, resulting in a humanitarian, social and economic crisis.” 

“The crisis has caused a huge distortion in the Palestinian economic structure. The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip now exceeds three-quarters of the labour force, and around a third of the West Bank's labour force is unemployed, reaching the highest level of unemployment in decades,” Awad said.

The Palestinians of Gaza face severe shortages of food, water and shelter, leading to an almost destruction of the economic cycle, and causing the Palestinian economy to lose more than one-third of its production base,” Awad explained.

“The escalation of hostilities in Gaza not only exacerbates pre-existing challenges but has led to a profound destruction of all aspects of life in the Strip, rendering it essentially uninhabitable,” the bulletin notes.

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