In the wake of a suicide by a young Palestinian who set himself on fire after months of looking for work, the United Nations today underlined the “precarious” situation of workers in Gaza, the Palestinian territory.
According to UN International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Regional Director for the Arab States Nada al-Nashif, the situation of workers in Gaza is one of the worst in the region and the world.
The ILO’s head stated that Gaza’s growing youth population has a right to better work opportunities and growth with equity.
“They need decent jobs, a minimum of social protection and respect for their basic rights to ensure a life of dignity.” – Ms. Nada al-Nashif
ILO reports that the unemployment rate among Palestinians could fuel more desperate measures. Employment is obviously one of the biggest concerns facing the young Palestinians, ILO cited.
In 2011, more than 53 per cent of young women and 32.2 per cent of young men aged 15 to 24 were unemployed. In addition, more than 70 per cent of the population there is under the age of 30.
In Gaza, more than 80 per cent of its 1.6 million residents depend on international aid, and over 40 per cent live in poverty.
In addition, the United Nation Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said unemployment in the Gaza Strip remains among the highest in the world.
OCHA further said real wages have continued to decline every year since Israel imposed a blockade of the area. Israel blockages Gaza because of the constant rocket attacks from within Gaza, fired into Israel.
The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) report on the economy in Gaza for the second half of 2010 listed the unemployment rate at 45.2 per cent and said real wages have slumped by an estimated 34.5 per cent since the Israelis imposed the blockade in 2007.
Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza for what it called security reasons after Hamas, which does not recognize Israel’s right to exist, ousted the Fatah movement in the Strip in 2007. The two factions reached a deal last month, agreeing to form a national unity government and hold elections within a year.
Although the number of rockets fired from Gaza into Southern Israel has reduced, Palestinian terrorists continue to fire rockets into Israel. See: Rocket Fire Continues To Rain Down From Gaza
Earlier this week, Ihab Abu Nada, a 20-year-old Gazan, died from his injuries after setting himself on fire in a public place on Sunday.
Reports say Mr Abu Nada had been frustrated and discouraged for his failure to find a job. The young Palestinian resorted to taking his life to protest the worsening conditions in Gaza.
Mr. Abu Nada reportedly had dropped out of school last year to help his father. He found temporary informal work, washing dishes or peddling packets of potato chips in the street.