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Gaza Strip Economy on Verge of Collapse, World Bank Says
A Palestinian youth practices his parkour jumping skills in Gaza City in houses destroyed during the 50-day war last summer. Photograph: Reuters/Mohammed Salem
A new World Bank report has warned that the Gaza Strips economy is on the verge of collapse, saying the unemployment rate there is now the highest in the world.
The damning report, released on Friday, claimed blockades, war and poor governance have strangled the economy of the Gaza Strip, ruled by Hamas.
Gazas gross domestic product would have been an estimated four times higher if not for conflicts and restrictions, including a blockade in place since 2007.
Israel, backed by Egypt, imposed the blockade on Gaza after the Islamist Hamas won elections in 2006 and seized control of the territory the following year from forces loyal to western-backed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel defends the blockade as necessary to prevent militant weapons smuggling, while human rights groups criticise the restrictions as collective punishment.
The report, which will be presented to a donors conference next week, said Gazas economy was badly hurt as a result of the three wars fought between Hamas and Israel since 2007 including a 50-day conflict last summer.
It said about 43 per cent of Gazas 1.8 million residents are unemployed, with youth unemployment soaring to 60 per cent. Nearly 80 per cent of Gazas population receives some kind of social assistance, and almost 40 per cent fall below the poverty line.
The current market in Gaza is not able to offer jobs, leaving a large population in despair, particularly the youth, Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza, said in the report.
The ongoing blockade and the 2014 war have taken a toll on Gazas economy and peoples livelihoods. The economy cannot survive without being connected to the outside world.
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World Bank says Gaza Strips economy on verge of collapse
Working for UNRWA in the Gaza Strip is challenging and rewarding. The security environment and the Israeli-imposed restrictions make specific demands on international staff. The Agency has an impressive record on protecting the security of international staff.
The Gaza Strip takes its name from Gaza, its main city. The territory has about 1.4 million Palestinian residents.
Location and geography
The Gaza Strip is a coastal strip of land along the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Egypt at the south-west and Israel to the north and east. It is about 41km long, and between 6km and 12km wide, with a total area of 360 square kilometres. The border with Israel is 51km; with Egypt, 11km. The Mediterranean coastline is 40km. The terrain is flat to rolling with a sand- and dune-covered coastal plain.
The Gaza Strip has a temperate climate, with mild winters, and dry, hot summers subject to drought.
The principal ethnic majority are the Palestinian Arabs, who account for 99 per cent of the population. The people of Gaza are welcoming and warm to visitors.
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Working in the Gaza Strip | UNRWA
Islamic State sympathizers in the Gaza Strip are making their presence felt on social media, but the enclave’s Hamas rulers said on Thursday the group has no real foothold in the Palestinian territory.
Statements signed “Supporters of the Islamic State” have appeared recently on Twitter and several websites, accusing the Islamist group Hamas of arresting dozens of jihadists and threatening attacks in Gaza unless they are released.
Hamas said it had detained what it described as “lawbreakers” after an explosion earlier this month near a Hamas security headquarters and another blast outside the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
A senior security official loyal to Hamas described the explosions, for which no group has claimed responsibility, as no more than “noise bombs”, saying Islamic State existed “only on the Internet” in Gaza.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said “there is nothing called the Islamic State in the Gaza Strip”, adding that the group only had “some supporters” in the territory.
“We do not fight people because of what they think, but at the same time, we do not allow any violations of security, whether by groups or individuals,” Abu Zuhri said.
Last week, A jihadist group with Islamic State ties claimed responsibility for a mortar attack at a Hamas base in the Gaza Strip.
The group, which calls itself “Supporters of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Jerusalem,” said in an online statement that the rockets it fired were aimed at a base occupied by Hamass armed wing, Izzadin Kassam
Gaza-based political analyst Hani Habib said some activists identifying with ultra-conservative Salafi Islam were using social media to try to draw the attention of Islamic State and seek its recognition.
“They were inspired by the presence of ISIS in Iraq and Syria and moreover in the Egyptian Sinai peninsula,” said Habib, dismissing any notion that Salafis in Gaza had formally joined Islamic State.
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What Was Banksy Doing In The Gaza Strip
In 2014, Israel launched a major ground offensive into the Gaza strip. By the time they left some 2,200 Palestinians had been killed, including a significant number of civilians.
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Gaza | World news | The Guardian
May. 1, 2015 Elusive British graffiti artist Banksy creates stir in Gaza after crafting works on rubble to highlight destruction from war between Israel and Hamas.
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Breaking World Gaza Strip News – The New York Times
10 Things to Know for Today plagued by chronic power outages, poverty and shortages of construction materials, the rooftop restaurant “Level Up” in Gaza City defies all the rules. 7. MIGRANTS KILLED ON MACEDONIA TRACKS At least 14 refugees, believed to be from Afghanistan
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Gaza Strip News, Photos and Videos – ABC News
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Gaza – Haaretz | Israel News
This article is about the Gaza Strip government, currently administered by a unity government.
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Governance of the Gaza Strip – Wikipedia, the free …