The official spokesman for UNRWA has said that the Israeli-imposed blockade of the territory has not weakened the government in Gaza. Christopher Gunness added that over the 5 years of the siege, the Hamas-led government has managed to create a 3% rise in public sector jobs. An UNRWA report released this week revealed that unemployment in the Gaza Strip is among the highest in the world, whereas the public sector is undergoing notable growth.
"Hamas has been able to increase public employment by at least one-fifth," said Mr. Gunness. "The policy of weakening Hamas seems to have failed, but the policy has been highly successful at punishing the people of Gaza." He noted that 70% of growth in the labour market between the second half of 2009 and the second half of 2010 took place in the public sector.
"It is hard to understand the logic of a man-made policy which deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially productive people to a life of destitution," he added.