Gaza’s unemployment rate is over 40 percent—one of the highest in the world.
No portion of the Gaza economy has been left untouched by the blockade.
Many of the basic raw materials and resources needed to produce goods in Gaza are blocked from entering Gaza, and exports are down nearly 85 percent from their pre-blockade levels. Electricity is available for no more than eight hours per day, fuel is limited, and in most areas of Gaza, access to water is severely restricted. Together these factors—combined with repeated Israeli military attacks on Gaza—have destroyed Gaza’s business and industry, resulting in the closure of 90 percent of factories and workshops.
Other key sectors, including fishing and farming, have also been impacted by the blockade. Under the Oslo Accords, Palestinian fishermen in Gaza should be able to fish anywhere within a 20 nautical-mile fishing zone. Since the blockade was imposed, however, Israel has allowed Palestinians to fish only within a zone between three and six nautical miles off the coast, negatively affecting the fishing industry and the livelihoods of those who rely on it. Farmers have also been devastated by the imposition of a no-go zone that extends up to one kilometer into Gaza along the border with Israel, which limits Palestinian access to 35 percent of prime agricultural land.
- Gaza’s unemployment rate is over 40 percent—one of the highest in the world. Youth unemployment is over 60 percent.
- Since 2007, Gaza’s gross domestic product (GDP) has shrunk by 50 percent. Average income is now at least 31 percent lower than it was in 1994.
- In 2007 the garment industry accounted for 17 percent of Gaza’s GDP. Because of the blockade, 87 percent of garment factories have closed.
- Of the estimated 3,500 permits issued to Gaza traders to allow them to exit Gaza for business purposes, 1,600 were revoked during 2016 without explanation. During the same period, 160 of the total of 350 travel permits issued to prominent business people from Gaza were revoked without reason.