Palestinian boys read the Holy Quran at an Islamic school in Gaza, June 28, 2011.
Palestinian and UN officials say the quality of life in the impoverished Gaza Strip has even further deteriorated since the Israeli regime claimed it was ‘easing’ its blockade of the coastal sliver.
Milina Shahin, who is with the Public Information Office at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza, says unemployment has climbed to 45.6 percent while the number of Palestinians earning just $1.6 per day has tripled over the past year, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, said that still very little gets through the blockade.
“The Israeli occupation was not honest when they announced that they would let into Gaza everything that Gaza needs, including the raw materials that are needed for construction,” Abu Zuhri added.
However, the coordinator of Tel Aviv’s operations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Major General Eitan Dangot, denied that Gazans lacked anything.
Dangot claimed there were more trucks with supplies crossing into the enclave.
The Israelis announced in 2010 that they were ‘significantly easing’ its blockade of the besieged coastal strip to allow in consumer goods, a decision that came after nine activists on a Turkish aid convoy were killed in an Israeli attack on a flotilla that tried to break years of Tel Aviv’s siege on Gaza.
In a recent development, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman branded the participants in the Freedom Flotilla II as “hardcore activists” that are “looking for blood,” and threatened that they would be confronted should they approach the coastal sliver.
“It is clear that those who are still participating in the (relief aid) flotilla are the hardcore terror activists,” Liberman claimed.
The Israeli regime laid an economic siege on Gaza in June 2007 after an elected Hamas government took control of the strip.
Some 1.5 million people in Gaza are being denied their basic rights, including the freedom of movement and the right to appropriate living conditions, work, health and education.