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Gaza loses $230 million per month

February 11, 2014 at 10:59 am

The Ministry of Economy in the government of the Gaza Strip said on Sunday that the closure of the tunnels beneath the border with Egypt has caused heavy losses amounting to $230 million per month. The tunnels have in the past been described as “Gaza’s lifeline” but are being destroyed by the coup regime in Cairo.

The ministry pointed out that Gaza’s economy was dependent on the tunnels for at least 40 per cent of the needs of construction and raw materials, as well as production equipment. The losses have affected industry, commerce, agriculture, transport and construction, while public revenues have witnessed a decline that will have a negative effect on employment and interim programmes implemented by the government.

Ministry Undersecretary Hatem Eweda warned of even higher unemployment, which is predicted to return to 2008 levels of almost 50 per cent. He was speaking on the television programme “Meet an Official”.

Pointing to a decline in the rate of growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 3 per cent and an increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Eweda said that this was a result of higher prices due to the security measures implemented by the Israeli occupation authorities and higher transportation costs.