PressTV report, 1 August 2015
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) has revealed that the Israeli blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip over the past eight years has pushed up poverty in the coastal enclave to new highs.
The PCHR has said in a report that Gaza’s poverty rate for the first half of this year has now reached 38.8 percent.
It added that 21.1 percent of the Palestinians living in the coastal strip are suffering from “extreme poverty”.
The PCHR report has further added that in addition to causing a rise in the poverty rate, the Israeli blockade has caused unemployment in the enclave to rise to 44 percent.
This indicates the extent of the unprecedented economic deterioration suffered by the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, it added.
“Israel’s isolation and siege of Gaza has resulted in grave violations of the economic, social and cultural rights of 1.8 million people, as well as a serious deterioration in their living conditions,” said the PCHR in its report.
In May, the World Bank described Gaza’s economy as one of the worst in the world, with unemployment in the strip standing as high as 43 percent. It also warned that as much as 73 percent of the population there is suffering from food insecurity.
The Israeli military last summer devastated the Gaza Strip after 51 days of relentless attacks and strikes that left over 2,000 Palestinians killed – mostly civilians – and many wounded. Tens of thousands were also displaced in the wake of the conflict.
A UN report in June decried as “unprecedented” the devastation and human suffering left behind by the Israeli war. It also denounced the “huge firepower” used in Gaza. The UN further criticized the Israeli blockade for hampering reconstruction in the coastal enclave.