Sixty per cent of the population of Gaza is unemployed, while 70 per cent live in poverty, QudsNet reported yesterday.
Secretary-General of the General Federation of Palestine's Trades Unions in Gaza (GFPTU), Sami Al-Amassi, said: "Palestinian workers … live in accumulated suffering caused by the Israeli occupation which tightens the siege, closes crossings and bans the entry of raw materials."
"Palestinian workers in Gaza have been experiencing the worst reality for ten years," he said, warning of "disastrous" living standards under the Israeli policy of tightening the siege.
Al-Amassi called for Egypt to open the Rafah Crossing to allow the entry of basic essentials. He also called for the Arab states, the United Nations and everyone with a "conscience" to put pressure on the Israeli occupation in order to lift the siege.
Regarding the role of the Palestinian Unity Government, Al-Amassi said: "Since the first day it was formed, it has never offered a single work opportunity for any of the unemployed workers, who received only illusive promises announced by the Labour Minister Mamoun Abu Shahla."
He called working conditions to be improved, including increasing the minimum wage, noting that staff work for long hours on low wages in a clear violation of the Labour Law.
Internal Palestinian divisions must be eliminated in order to reprioritise the agenda, he said.