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UN: Conditions in Gaza deteriorating amidst rise in poverty

An old woman and a child try to stay warm by burning brushwood in front of a tent house as they struggle to survive in poverty under Israel's blockade during winter, in Gaza City, Gaza on December 27, 2022 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Two million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been living under "intensified access restrictions" since 2007, and are largely isolated from the external world, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) has said.

"Longstanding import restrictions imposed by Israel citing security concerns, as well as lack of agreement and coordination between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israel, impede the implementation of infrastructure projects, economic recovery and employment generation," OCHA added.

"Continuing insecurity discourages farming activity in land located up to 1,000 metres from Israel's perimeter fence, while fishing livelihoods are disrupted by Israeli restrictions on access to the sea off the Gaza coast."

The UN body continued: "Prolonged electricity blackouts negatively affect the delivery of essential services and increase the domestic burden on women and girls."

According to the UN OCHA, the halt of salary payment by the PA to its employees in Gaza and the local authorities' inability to meet the needs of the Strip's population in general have aggravated the dire situation in the enclave.

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