Monday, 25 April 2016

NGO network warns of Gaza cement ban consequences

Palestinian NGOs condemned on Sunday the Israeli ban on cement being imported into the Gaza Strip. The NGO Network warned of the consequences of such a ban on the “already deteriorated” situation in the coastal enclave, has reported.

In a statement, the network said that the Israeli occupation is banning the import of cement and other construction materials as well as all kinds of exports from Gaza. “This aggravates the already deteriorated humanitarian, economic and social situation.” According to international reports, the NGOs pointed out, the ban, “Increases unemployment rates and poverty, and causes food insecurity.”

In addition, the NGOs warned of the slow reconstruction of the houses destroyed during the 2014 Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory. They called for the acceleration of the reconstruction and repair of houses as well as the water supply, sewage, electricity and education infrastructure. more

Union: Unemployment in Gaza soars ahead of workers' day

The unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip has reached 60 percent with some 213,000 workers unemployed, the General Federation of Trade Unions in Gaza said in a statement Sunday ahead of International Workers’ Day on May 1.

Gaza’s unemployment rate has soared from the 44 percent unemployment rate recorded by the World Bank in 2014 to 60 percent, according to the head of the federation Sami al-Amsi. The poverty rate among laborers in the besieged coastal enclave meanwhile stands at a staggering 70 percent, he added.

“Palestinian workers will receive International Workers’ Day with accumulating suffering as a result of the crippling siege imposed by the Israeli occupation,”said al-Amsi, asserting that the labor situation in the Gaza Strip “is the worst it’s been in ten years.”

The statement highlighted Egypt's role in the worsening economic situation, pointing to the ongoing closure of the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

Al-Amsi slammed the Palestinian unity government for "failing to employ a single worker" since it was formed in 2014. “All that Gaza workers were given were illusionary promises that Minister of Labor Maamoun Abu Shahla made in the name of the government.” more