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The Gaza Strip’s economy has been unable to stand on its own two feet since the June War of 1967. Over the years it became subservient to the Israeli economy, and therefore very vulnerable. Since the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000, the Palestinian economy has been in steady decline, especially in Gaza.
According to the Palestinian Trade Center, the blockade hit Gaza’s private sector, which generates 53 percent of the jobs, hardest. Around 98 percent of Gaza’s industrial operations – in 3,800 establishments – were halted due to a lack of raw materials and the loss of trade opportunities. More than 75,000 workers – out of a total of 110,000 employed by the private sector – lost their jobs and their income. The same applied to the 100,000 Palestinian workers who were no longer allowed to work in Israel. Construction projects came to a standstill (except in the case of private companies that use construction materials brought in through the tunnels). Unemployment in Gaza hovers at around 40 percent.