“Gaza is a very small market that can’t survive on its own, without connection to the outside world”.
July 9, 2014, in an interview for the prime time Israeli news program “London and Kirschenbaum”, on Channel 10, Iman Jabbour, research director at Gisha, discussed the state of Gaza’s economy, its unemployment rate and its dependence on trade with Israel and the West Bank.
“The most recent figure from the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics is 41% unemployment in the Gaza Strip, with more than 180,000 people unemployed. This is a very high unemployment rate”, she told the interviewers. “Gaza is a very small place, with a very high population density. It’s a very small market that can’t survive on its own, without connection to the outside world. Israel’s closure policy severely limits movement of goods. Export has been nearly frozen since 2007… It’s impossible to sell goods to Israel or the West Bank, which, until 2007, were Gaza’s natural markers. The Egyptian market can’t compete with them”.
Jabbour also said: “Gaza’s private sector has been weakened by the closure and Hamas has been weakened by the closure of the tunnels. The class of merchants who were doing business with Israel has pretty much collapsed over the years of closure. Industrialists don’t just need raw materials, they need to export in order to bring in money, and sale of goods to the West Bank and Israel is frozen. These are their markets”.
To view the full interview, click here (Hebrew)