The New York Times reports: Gaza’s war-battered economy is on the “verge of collapse,” dragged down by soaring unemployment rates that followed last summer’s war with Israel, border restrictions and government dysfunction, the World Bank says in a new report.
Infighting between Gaza’s Islamist Hamas rulers and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, the report said, is delaying reconstruction of the tiny territory, which suffered widespread damage during the war.
The report, issued late Thursday, said Gaza’s unemployment rate now stood at 44 percent, 11 points higher than before the war — and the world’s highest level. The youth unemployment rate, at 60 percent, is the highest in the Middle East, the report noted.
The report said that 40 percent of Gaza’s nearly 1.8 million Palestinians lived in poverty, even though around 80 percent received some sort of aid. [Continue reading…]