Gaza’s economic crisis reflects the indignity of occupation

By Michelle Chen

, by Common Dreams

While governments in Europe and the U.S. scramble to boost jobs and revive markets, one country in the “developed” world is striving to pauperize an entire society.

The Gaza Strip is both an occupied territory and a no man’s land; its disenfranchised population has for years remained trapped under a blockade that prevents even the most rudimentary forms of development. A new report from the United Nations sheds light on a different side of the indignity: the systematic violation of their economic and labor rights. The crippling of the Palestinian economy is neocolonialism wrapped up in a humanitarian crisis.

The U.N. Agency for Palestinian Refugees reports that Gaza’s people suffer some of highest unemployment rates in the world, about 45 percent. The difference between Gaza and any other impoverished nation, of course, is that its economic disaster is the product of a deliberate policy imposed by a prosperous colonial regime. After blasting its infrastructure to pieces in a 2008-2009 military campaign, Israel is finishing the job by making Gaza as unlivable as possible.

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