A crippled Gaza economy

Unemployment in the Gaza Strip remains among the highest in the world and real wages have slumped by an estimated 34.5% since 2007 when Israel tightened its blockade, according to a new UN report
Gaza Strip population 1,657,000 Working-age population* 862,000
*Age 15 years or older


News and events — visually
2.5 miles
Refugee camps Crossing 4km points

Jabaliya Erez Erez

Labour force 347,540 (40.3% of working age population)

Israel controls Gaza’s Mediterranean coastline and airspace; Israeli drones patrol the skies; ships enforce a maritime blockade five km from shore.

Gaza City Shati

Beit Hanoun Nahol Oz NaholOz

Karni Karni Nuseirat Bureij Maghazi Deir al-Balah camp Deir al-Balah

Employed 190,360 (54.8% of labour force) Unemployed 157,180 (45.2%)



Khan Younis

Kissufim Kissufim Khan Younis camp Airport Not in use

• One of the most densely populated places on Earth • Most residents are Palestinian refugees from families that fled there when Israel was established, in 1948.

Rafah camp Rafah

Average nonrefugee daily wage (second half of 2010)

People earing less than


a day

of the population is below the poverty line



Sufa Sufa Kerem Kerem Shalom Shalom

Age structure

53.5% 15-64 years 43.9% 0-14 years

2.6%over 65 years &

$15.80 US

Egypt opens border with Gazabe opened Rafah crossing: To Strip

Egypt’s decision to open its border in May withfrom to ease entry restrictions permanently Gaza 09:00 to 17:00 for Palestinians marked a further policy shift since theholidays of President except Fridays and overthrow Hosni Mubarak, whose government co-operated with Israel in enforcing the four-year blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.

Some goods that have been blocked from entering Gaza
• anything that could aid in the making of armaments or fortifications • concrete • steel • wood for construction • automobiles • computers • fruit juice • chocolate • coriander, cumin, ginger, nutmeg • newspapers • fabric for clothing • horses, goats, cattle, chickens, donkeys • fishing rods. Many items are illegally smuggled into the country through underground tunnels.

How did the blockade begin?
In 2006, Hamas won parliamentary elections in Gaza and, the next year, drove out Fatah in a bloody four-day civil war. Hamas, which refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist, fired thousands of rockets into Israel, killing and wounding dozens of civilians and unnerving the population. Hamas also infuriated Israelis by refusing to return a kidnapped soldier, Gilad Shalit, whom militants had abducted from an Israeli border post in 2006. In 2007, Israel imposed a full blockade. Israel’s goal is to weaken Hamas and reduce its capacity for terrorism. They hope that Palestinians will weary of deprivation and oust Hamas.

Jan 2006: Hamas wins Palestinian Authority legislative election 2006: Israel imposes blockade after Israeli solider Gilad Shalit is snatched by Gaza-base militants Jun 2007: Hamas seizes control of Gaza from Fatah after wave of fighting that kills over 100 people. Israel tightens blockade of Gaza Strip Dec 2008: Israel launches full scale invasion — around 1,400 Palestinians killed May 2010: Israeli forces seize aid convoy of six ships aiming to break through blockade, killing nine Turkish activists May 3, 2011: Unity deal between Fatah and Hamas signed May 28: Egypt opens border

Blockade timeline

Sources: Graphic News; UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA); wire services


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