Thursday, 11 June 2015

Poll: Half of Gaza residents considering emigration

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Half of Gazans say they are considering emigration from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research reported Tuesday.

The 50 percent of those polled in Gaza thinking of leaving the coastal enclave is the highest percentage ever recorded, amidst decreasing satisfaction of achievements attained by Hamas last summer's war.

Increasing frustration comes the IMF reported last month that reconstruction since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas has been significantly lower than expected, while the World Bank reported that the strip was facing a "dangerous fiscal crisis."

Unemployment in Gaza increased in 2014 "to reach 44 percent -- probably the highest in the world," the World Bank reported, with the poverty rate in the occupied Palestinian territory reaching 39 percent, despite the fact that nearly four of every five Gazans receive "some aid."

"Gaza's unemployment and poverty figures are very troubling and the economic outlook is worrying," the World Bank quoted Palestinian territories director Steen Lau Jorgensen as saying in a statement.

The UN has repeatedly warned of further conflict in the area if the reconstruction process continues at such slow pace, emphasizing that Gaza's humanitarian crisis is worsened by Israel's eight-year blockade on the strip.

Despite the new record high levels of desire for emigration from the war-ravaged strip, Gaza residents would still favor reelection of Gaza's governing party Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh to Fatah's leader Mahmoud Abbas, PSR polls also said in the June report. more


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