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Palestinian unemployment rate rises above 50% amid Gaza conflict, says ILO

March 18, 2024 at 5:13 pm

Palestinians gather in front of UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) building to receive the 5 kg flour aid as the first humanitarian aid convoy in months has entered Gaza amid Israeli attacks in Jabalia, Gaza on March 17, 2024. [Dawoud Abo Alkas – Anadolu Agency]

The Israel-Palestinian conflict is pushing the Palestinian unemployment rate in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip above 50 per cent, the International Labour Organisation said on Monday.

Half a million jobs have already been lost since 7 October, Reuters has reported. That’s when Israel began its military offensive against the Palestinians in Gaza following the Hamas armed incursion in the south of the occupation state. If the offensive continues until the end of March then the unemployment rate is expected to soar to 57 per cent, said the ILO.

The organisation’s Regional Director for Arab States, Ruba Jaradat, said that the destruction of infrastructure and schools, hospitals and business in Gaza had “decimated entire economic sectors and paralysed labour market activity, with untold repercussions on the lives and livelihoods of Palestinians for generations to come.”

In Gaza, some 200,000 jobs have been lost, accounting for about two-thirds of total employment in the enclave. In the West Bank, meanwhile, the report described “near lockdown” conditions with more than 650 permanent and temporary checkpoints across the territory having significant negative effects on the economy. More than 300,000 Palestinian jobs, or about a third of total employment, have already been lost there.

READ: Israel detains 20 more Palestinians in West Bank, bringing total arrests since 7 Oct to 7,605