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Gaza under commercial strike amid worsening conditions

Gaza under commercial strike amid worsening conditions
From Al Jazeera - January 22, 2018

A general strike has been called for by the private sector in the Gaza Strip to protest worsening living conditions amid the ongoing blockade, which is threatening to collapse the enclave's economy.

In a statement published last week, the Gaza Businessmen Association(Arabic) announced that the strike in commercial and economic institutions would start from 8am (06:00 GMT) and last for six hours on Monday.

"This urgent appeal comes as a last resort, after the catastrophic economic and living conditions of the Gaza Strip reached the point of zero," the statement said.

The statement pointed out the economy has reached an "unprecedented level of decline".

"Most notably, the unemployment rate is at 46 percent, the rates of poverty have exceeded 65 percent, and the rate of food insecurity for households in the Gaza Strip has reached 50 percent."

Furthermore, rising unemployment rates among graduates have reached 67 percent, and a growing number of commercial traders who have been imprisoned as a result of their inability to pay their debts is a "reflection of the general economic deficit," the statement added.

"We wish through this strike to send a message to our leaders - Arab leaders, international leaders, and to the United Nations," Maher al-Taba, a member of Gaza's chamber of commerce told Al Jazeera.

'Breaking point'

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