Gaza, MINA – Palestinian private sector institutions in the Gaza Strip on Monday said that Gaza’s economy is on the verge of collapse, holding international institutions responsible for the difficult economic situation that has affected all aspects of life in the enclave.
According to Palestinian Information Center, Head of the Gaza Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Walid al-Husari, announced during a press conference launching a general strike on Monday as a first step by the private sector to protest the deteriorating economic conditions.
Al-Husari said that the private sector institutions have sent a letter to the Palestinian Authority (PA) president, Mahmoud Abbas, describing the difficult economic and humanitarian situation Gaza is going through and asking him to urgently intervene to prevent the collapse of the besieged territory.
According to al-Husari, the unemployment rate in the Gaza Strip reached 46% with nearly a quarter of a million people unemployed. The poverty rate exceeded 65% while food insecurity increased to 50%.
He asked the PA to reverse the salary cuts imposed on Gaza’s PA employees and exempt Gaza from taxes until its economy recovers, and called on the international community and the United Nations to pressure Israel to lift the blockade on Gaza and protect it against an approaching economic, social and health disaster.
The Palestinian official called for ending the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism (GRM) and allowing the entry of building materials into the coastal enclave without restrictions. He also appealed to all donors to fulfill their vows made at the Gaza Reconstruction Conference held in Cairo in 2014.
Ha asked Abbas to give instructions to develop an economic rescue plan and establish an emergency relief fund to support Gaza’s economic sectors, stressing the need to launch temporary employment programs for Gazan graduates.(R/R04/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)