Long before the coronavirus pandemic sent economies across the globe into freefall, Gaza’s economy was deliberately hindered by a closure enforced by Israel on movement of people and goods. Now, with the virus spreading in Gaza, local authorities are also restricting movement in the Strip, further impacting the economic and humanitarian situation. Public institutions and schools are closed. Businesses and nonessential factories have had to shut down, while others operate on a reduced scale. Financial distress, poverty and food insecurity in the Strip are on the rise.
Double Lockdown, a report released by Gisha, examines how years of sweeping movement restrictions combined with pandemic closures have impacted the local job market and purchasing power. How have Gaza’s industries been impacted, and what must be done to alleviate living conditions for residents? The report provides a snapshot of the economic situation in the Strip and is based on interviews conducted by Gisha with industrialists, traders, laborers, and economists from the Strip and data and information released by Palestinian and international organizations.
Israel wields substantial influence over countless aspects of life in Gaza by virtue of its ongoing control over movement of people and goods to and from the Strip. This control creates an obligation to protect the fundamental rights and living conditions of Gaza’s residents. Israel must take immediate action to allow maximum economic activity in Gaza including by refraining from imposing punitive measures on the Strip, and removing the closure. Further recommendations are listed at the conclusion of the report.
To view the new report click here.