Half of Gazans say they are considering emigration from the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.AFP reports that the 50 percent of those polled in Gaza thinking of leaving the coastal enclave is the highest percentage ever recorded, amidst decreasing satisfaction of achievements attained by Hamas last summer’s war.
Increasing frustration comes the IMF reported last month that reconstruction since the most recent war between Israel and Hamas has been significantly lower than expected, while the World Bank reported that the strip was facing a ‘dangerous fiscal crisis’.
Unemployment in Gaza increased in 2014 ‘to reach 44 percent — probably the highest in the world,’ the World Bank reported, with the poverty rate in the occupied Palestinian territory reaching 39 percent, despite the fact that nearly four of every five Gazans receive ‘some aid’.
‘Gaza’s unemployment and poverty figures are very troubling and the economic outlook is worrying,’ the World Bank quoted Palestinian territories director Steen Lau Jorgensen as saying in a statement.
The UN has repeatedly warned of further conflict in the area if the reconstruction process continues at such slow pace, emphasizing that Gaza’s humanitarian crisis is worsened by Israel’s eight-year blockade on the Strip.
Despite the new record high levels of desire for emigration from the war-ravaged strip, Gaza residents would still favor reelection of Gaza’s governing party Hamas’ Ismail Haniyeh to Fateh’s leader Mahmoud Abbas, PSR polls also said in the June report.
In the West Bank, however, the level of satisfaction with the performance of Abbas rose to 44 percent, compared to 40 percent three months prior.
If new legislative elections were held today with the participation of all factions, 72 percent of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip say they would participate. Of those who would participate, 35 percent say they would vote for Hamas and 39 percent say they would vote for Fatah, 11 percent would vote for all other third parties combined, and 16 percent are undecided.
Elections have not been held since 2006 largely due to ongoing political divisions between Fateh and Hamas.
See also: 09/09/14 Thousands Fleeing Gaza By Any Means