Nearly 200,000 workers are now unemployed in the Gaza Strip following Israel's latest assault on the area, leaving approximately 900,000 people without a regular income to support them, the Workers' Union said.
In a statement obtained by the Anadolu news agency, the union said nearly 30,000 workers were out of a job due to the recent Israeli war which lasted 51 days and led to the destruction of a large number of factories, workshops, businesses and shops.
This is in addition to the approximately 170,000 people who are unemployed due to the siege which Israel has imposed on the Strip for eight years.
The union said: "200,000, out of 330,000 workers in the Palestinian labour market in the Gaza Strip, have become unemployed."
It pointed out that the Israeli war resulted in the rise in unemployment to more than 55 per cent, stressing that the Gaza Strip is waiting for "the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, and opening the crossings for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip."
On August 21, a long term ceasefire was signed between the Palestinians and Israelis under Egyptian auspices. Under the terms of the agreement, Israel is to open the commercial crossings with the Gaza Strip.
The truce came after a war waged by Israel on the Gaza Strip, on July 7, and which lasted 51 days, resulted in the deaths of 2,149 Palestinians, and injured more than 11,000 others, as well as the destruction of thousands of homes, according to official Palestinian statistics.
Since Hamas won legislative elections in January 2006, Israel imposed a land and sea blockade on Gaza; this was continued even after the formation of a Palestinian unity government in June of this year.