World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations report released Wednesday says Gaza could be "uninhabitable" in less than five years if current economic trends continue, The Guardian reported.
UN Conference on Trade and Development findings point at Gaza's eight-years-long economic blockade as well as the three large scale Israeli attacks on Palestinian territories over the past six years.
The 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza killed thousands of civilians, displaced half a million people and left large parts of the strip destroyed.
The attack "has effectively eliminated what was left of the middle class, sending almost all of the population into destitution and dependence on international humanitarian aid," the new report says.
Gaza's GDP dropped 15% in 2014 and unemployment reached a record high of 44%, while 72% of households were food insecure.
The large scale attacks had shattered Gaza's ability to export and produce for the domestic market and left no time for reconstruction, the report said. It noted that Gaza's "de-development" had been accelerated.
Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade of Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007.
The report comes as Egyptian military bulldozers press ahead with a project that effectively would fill Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip with water and flood the last remaining cross-border underground smuggling tunnels, which have brought both commercial items and weapons into Gaza.
The report calls the economic prospects for 2015 for the Palestinian territories "bleak" because of the unstable political situation, reduced aid and the slow pace of reconstruction.
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