The United Nations Relief Works Agency has announced that unemployment in the Gaza strip has reached 45%.It has called upon world leaders, particularly in Europe, to help bring an end to Gazan suffering. In real terms, monthly earnings in Gaza decreased by almost 10% between the first half of 2009 and the first half of 2010.

UNRWA spokesperson Chris Guinness warned that without international intervention to halt the Israeli blockade of Gaza, the crisis could deepen substantially. The closure of a number of tunnels since the outbreak of protests in Egypt has had a further detrimental effect on Gaza.

Guinness noted in a press conference that Gaza is still trying to recover from Israel’s Operation Cast Lead two years ago and that, ‘Any further action taken by Israel would exacerbate the devastation that already exists’.