Tuesday, June 14, 2011

'Israel deliberately depriving Gaza'

Source: Press TV

The United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees says Israel is 'deliberately' forcing poverty onto the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip through its strict siege of the enclave.

On Tuesday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said Gaza was beset with a 45.2 percent unemployment rate in late 2010 -- an increase from the jobless figure of the first half of the year, AFP reported.

Tel Aviv imposed the siege on the sliver in June 2007 after the democratically-elected lawmakers affiliated with the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas took over the administration of the territory.

The blockade has had a disastrous impact on the humanitarian and economic situation of the impoverished territory -- home to 1.5 million Palestinians.

UNRWA's spokesman Chris Gunness said it was "hard to understand the logic" of the blockade, saying it "deliberately impoverishes so many and condemns hundreds of thousands of potentially-productive people to a life of destitution."

"It has certainly been highly successful in punishing some of the poorest of the poor in the Middle East region," the official noted.

"Our research indicates that since 2007, Hamas has been able to increase public employment by about one fifth."

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