The UN Conference On Trade And Development released a report yesterday (Tuesday 1st September) stating that Gaza could become “uninhabitable” by 2020 at the current rate. The report points to eight years of economic blockade, by Egypt and Israel, and the three wars fought with Israel over the past six years.The latest conflict, “Operation Protective Edge”, in July and August of 2014 destroyed large parts of Gaza, displacing 500,000 people. The report states:
“[The 2014 conflict] has effectively eliminated what was left of the middle class, sending almost all of the population into destitution and dependence on international humanitarian aid,”
Reporting on the UN Conference On Trade and Development’s findings, Israeli newspapers, Haaretz, states:
“The wars have shattered Gaza’s ability to export and produce for the domestic market and left no time for reconstruction, the report says. It notes that Gaza’s “de-development,” or development in reverse, has been accelerated.”
Haaretz also states that Gazan unemployment is higher than ever before, at 44%, 72% of homes in Gaza are “food insecure” and GDP has dropped below 15%.This report is backdropped by Egypt’s insistence on continuing with their project to fill its borders with the Gaza Strip with water, in an attempt to flood underground smuggling tunnels which, acts not only as a pipeline for weapons into Gaza, but also as a route to get commercial items to the 1.8million people living in the Gaza Strip.
The UN report states, the future for the people of Gaza is “bleak”. But we at the Liberal Democrat Friends Of Palestine would argue that the present is incredibly bleak too. Humanitarian crises are popping up across the globe, faster than they are being resolved, we urge those that have it in their power to make the problems of the people of Gaza better, not worse.