Category Archives: economic development

Women breaking barriers

Agence France Presse (AFP) news agency recently published a report about two sisters from the Gaza Strip, aged 13 and 16, who went to work in the fishing industry to support their family following their father’s illness. The report drew much interest and was translated and published on several Arabic language websites. True, it is out of the ordinary for two girls in a conservative society to find themselves in a field, or sea, as it were, usually reserved for men, but considering the difficult situation in Gaza– 39.3% unemployment in the second quarter of 2010, with the number of people living in abject poverty rising in the last two years from 100,000 to 300,000 according to the UN Office… Continue reading

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Not making the mark in economic recovery

In late July, the Tawjihi post-high school exam results were announced to the dread or delight of Gaza’s 36,594 exiting high school seniors. Over the summer vacation, these youngsters are making plans for their future like young people elsewhere. Will they attend one of Gaza’s five universities, which don’t offer badly needed degrees in environmental science, medical engineering, veterinary medicine and occupational therapy? Or will they seek to travel abroad, since travel to West Bank universities remains banned? Continue reading

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Not your average trip to the mall

The media last week heralded the opening of the first shopping mall in Gaza and immediately the blogosphere was atwitter. Some saw it as proof of the easing of the closure, which Israel had promised, and others saw it as a sign that there is no crisis in Gaza. Indeed, a two-story building converted into an air-conditioned shopping mall (restrictions on the transfer of construction… Continue reading

Posted in economic development, Movement of goods out of Gaza | 3 Comments

Closing the gap between rhetoric and reality

As discussion of “easing” the closure of Gaza continues, restrictions on movement between Gaza and the West Bank remain tighter than ever. Last week, the Defense Ministry announced that the “easing” would in no way expand criteria for travel of people between Gaza and the… Continue reading

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A Significant Boost or a Slight Modification?

An article in yesterday’s Haaretz cites Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Brig. Gen. Eitan Dangot’s having told the Palestinian Authority that Israel will facilitate an increase the number of trucks entering Gaza by 50%. Dangot claims that in the near future, Israel will allow 150 trucks per day via Kerem Shalom and the equivalent of 120 trucks per day of aggregates via the conveyer belt at Karni, for a total of 270 trucks per… Continue reading

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Gaza in Context: A Closer Look at the MFA's Numbers on Humanitarian Activity

On Tuesday, May 25, 2010, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released its latest update, claiming to be actively contributing to the humanitarian needs and even economic development of the Gaza Strip. Contrast the MFA report with UN agency OCHA’s critical report on limitations to access in the Palestinian territory released on May 27, 2010. We wrote last week about the seeming paradox between a policy whose stated goals are to reduce civilians to the minimum “essential for survival” (but not to fall below it) in order to Continue reading

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How to Market Gaza as an Israeli Success Story: The Complete Guide

The following guide was inspired by a report by the Government of Israel, summarizing Israel’s humanitarian activities for the Gaza Strip in 2009 and at the start of 2010, which was submitted yesterday to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee. Take things out of context. When you… Continue reading

Posted in economic development, Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 6 Comments

Interview with Muna Al-Almi on the occasion of International Woman's Day

On the occasion of International Woman’s Day this week, we decided to look at situation of women in the Gaza Strip. Out of 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip, women comprise 49.2% of the population. The percentage of women in the labor market today is 12.2% of the total workforce, a percentage that is considered low when compared to other countries in the world. We interviewed Mona Al-Almi, Manager of FATEN, an organization that provides loans and business development advice to women, in order to understand the unique situation of women in Gaza… Continue reading

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Occupational Hazards

In Gaza, even scrap metal collection has its hazards. OCHA reminds us this week in its monitor of the “buffer zone” in place inside Gaza, an area in which the Israeli military prevents Gaza residents from getting within 300 meters of the border between Israel and Gaza – even those trying to earn an unlikely livelihood. This week, OCHA reports, Israeli soldiers entered Gaza and arrested 10 Palestinian civilians who were collecting… Continue reading

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Can Gaza’s Stagnant Economy be “Reactivated”?

Amr Hamad, Deputy Director of the Palestinian Federation of Industries, came to Ramallah from the Gaza Strip last week to help assess the damage to the business sector in Gaza as a result of the last war. He told a Gisha representative that the European Union is considering compensating factories, business facilities and other institutions for the damages they sustained, estimated at $45 million (U.S.). EU representatives apparently understand the problematic nature of a situation where European tax-payers are to be sent the bill for damages caused by the Israeli army, and they have decided not to call it compensation, but rather a “business reactivation” plan. Continue reading

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