Palestinian MP Jamal Al-Khodari said that direct losses to Gaza’s economy are estimated at $70 million every month due to the strict Israeli siege and aggravating crisis of public servants’ salaries.
In a press release sent to journalists, the MP – who is head of Popular Committee Against the Siege on Gaza – said that 3,500 factories, workshops and businesses had been shut down during the 12-year-old Israeli siege imposed on the Strip.
He stated that businesses shut down every day in Gaza, noting that the poverty rate has reached 85 per cent and unemployment rate exceeded 60 per cent.
Daily individual income in Gaza is less than $2 per day, while there are tens of thousands of unemployed university graduates.
Al-Khodari, who is originally an academic and businessman, said that Palestinian economic markets in Gaza and the occupied West Bank witness high rates of depression. “Sales rates retreated by 80 per cent in Gaza and 50 per cent in the occupied West Bank,” he explained.
He also noted that the situation in Gaza is deteriorating due to the retreat of Arab and international aid programmes and support for relief organisations.
The MP added that the Israeli siege must be lifted in order to facilitate a better life for people in Gaza, while internal division between the Palestinian factions must end to enable better connections between Gaza and the West Bank.
He called for an urgent interference by the Arab states and international community to push Israel to end the siege, as well as to resume the flow of their support for the occupied territories.