Eight Years On: Gaza’s Still Fresh Wound
Eight years have passed since Israel launched its war on the Gaza Strip, known as the battle of the Furqan, and named by Israel “Operation Cast Lead.” the Gaza Strip is still suffering from the consequences of that war, which lasted for 23 days.
Although the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip have experienced two major offensives after that, Pillar of Cloud in 2012, which lasted for 8 days, and the Protective Edge in 2014, which lasted for 51 days, the people of the Gaza Strip, especially those directly affected by the 2008 offensive, are still suffering from its consequences.
Israel launched its first offensive on the Gaza Strip on 27 December 2008, leaving behind huge destruction, claiming the lives of 1,436 Palestinians, 410 of them were children, 104 women, and 100 elderly, and injuring 5,400 others, half of them were children.
The war ended 23 days later, on 18 January 2009, leaving a huge destruction in property and infrastructure, as the Israeli war machine destroyed 4,100 houses completely, and 17,000 houses partially, according to statistics published by Palestinian human rights organizations.
Palestinian economist Maher al-Taba’a told the PIC, “The 2008 war has ended and two wars followed, but its consequences and impacts are still present,” noting that those affected by the war are still complaining until the present day.
Taba’a asserted that the agricultural, industrial, and housing sectors along with the infrastructure were damaged the most by the Israeli war machine, noting that Israel destroyed some 1,600 industrial facilities, some of which had not received any compensation yet, and these facilities were very fundamental for Gaza’s economy.”
Statistics and Figures
Palestinian citizens in the Gaza Strip are still suffering from the consequences of the repeated wars against them and 10 years of siege, a report published by UNRWA said, noting that the unemployment rates are worse than what figures suggest.
According to statistics published by the World Bank, Gaza has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, which increased in the third quarter of 2016 to 43.2%. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) has revealed that 17,000 Palestinians were looking for jobs in the third quarter of 2016, yet only 17% of them were employed.
The World Bank’s statistics have shown that 55% of Gaza inhabitants are not economically active.