Wealth in Gaza – myths and facts

“How can you say they are poor. There’s a luxury shopping mall in Gaza.”

  • Because of the tunnels more goods are now available, but few can afford them.
  • 38% of Gazans are “poor”, 44% are “food insecure” and 80% depend on food aid[1]
  • Gazan poverty is be the world’s worst, but it is the only one created deliberately
  •  As a result of the blockade Gazans are 17% poorer than they were in 2005[2]
  • The only shopping mall sells goods that would be considered cheap in theUK

[2] UN OCHA see above


  • More than a third of Gazans (34%) and more than half of young Gazans are unemployed
  • Hundreds of factories stand idle because of the blockade, which has reduced exports to 3% of the pre-blockade levels.
  • 85% of Gaza’s fishing grounds and 35% of its agricultural land cannot be accessed because of restrictions imposed by the Israeli army and navy
  • 85% of Gazan schools are run on double shifts, one group of pupils in the morning and another in the afternoon
  • 90% of Gaza’s water is contaminated and 90 million litres of untreated sewage is dumped in the sea every day

We withdrew from Gaza but all we got were rockets”

  • Israel may have withdrawn its settlements and ground troops from Gaza in August 2005, but it kept control of land, sea and air borders and imposed tight restrictions on entry and exit, so Gaza is still occupied in international law.[1]
  • Israel also kept control of exports, imports and even humanitarian supplies of food and medicines, which are held far below pre-blockade level.
  •  Most rockets have been fired by small militant groups in retaliation for airstrikes and targeted assassinations and are not connected with the withdrawal.
  • Israeli settlements in Gaza were tiny – less than 2% of the total. The withdrawal of 7,826 settlers from Gaza in 2005 was immediately offset by moving 26,971 settlers into the West Bank in the same year, many transferring straight across from Gaza.[2]
  • We should condemn not only rocket attacks but also Israeli airstrikes, and not only the deaths of Israeli civilians but also the deaths of Palestinian civilians, which far outnumber them.
  • In 28 months between Israel’s withdrawal fromGaza (August 2005) and the Israeli assault onGaza (December 2008), 8 people were killed by rocket attacks in southern Israel but the number of Palestinians who died in Israeli attacks onGazawas 1,315.


Collective punishment is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. No person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed (Article 33 of the fourth Geneva Conventions IV (1949) and Article 75(2)(d) of the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (1977).


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