UN: Gaza May Become Uninhabitable by 2020

UN: Gaza May Become Uninhabitable by 2020UN: Gaza May Become Uninhabitable by 2020

Gaza could be “uninhabitable” in less than five years if current economic trends continue, according to a new United Nations report.

The report released on Tuesday by the UN Conference on Trade and Development points to the eight-year economic blockade of Gaza as well as the three wars there over the past six years, Al Jazeera reported.

Last year’s Israeli bombing of Gaza displaced half a million people and left parts of the strip destroyed.

The war “has effectively eliminated what was left of the middle class, sending almost all of the population into destitution and dependence on international humanitarian aid,” the report said.

Gaza’s GDP dropped 15% last year and unemployment reached a record high of 44%, while 72% of households are food insecure.

The wars have shattered Gaza’s ability to export and produce for the domestic market and left no time for reconstruction, the report said. It notes that Gaza’s “de-development,” or development in reverse, has been accelerated.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since Palestinian organization Hamas tool control of the territory in 2007.

“The humanitarian catastrophe is man-made. The answer is only through are man-made policies,” Hamdi Shaqqura, the deputy director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, said.

“The answer to Gaza is not dumping money into it. We have great potentials in Gaza for economic policies. What hinders economic development is merely Israeli policies, the blockade and other restrictions imposed on Gaza.”