header image
Home arrow Gaza arrow Gaza businesses totter as blockade tightens
Gaza businesses totter as blockade tightens PDF Print E-mail
Sep 03, 2007 at 10:48 PM
CAROLYNNE WHEELER
Globe and Mail Update

Gaza City, GAZA STRIP — Waiting in dusty warehouses in this volatile, locked-down stretch of land are 400 containers of furniture representing a lifetime of hard work and investment.

With the militant Islamist group Hamas holding full control of Gaza, after a violent takeover in June, the 1.4 million people living here have seen their border crossings with Egypt and Israel shut down completely – nothing except humanitarian aid coming in, and nothing and no one going out, save those fortunate enough to have foreign passports or residency permits and the permission of Israeli authorities.

And that is deadly news for the few industries that had managed to survive in Gaza's fragile economy. In a region where a business's ability to buy and sell goods depends entirely upon the security situation that day, and where nearly 90 per cent of households get by on less than $2.40 (U.S.) a day, more than 80 per cent of an estimated 4,000 small factories have closed and unemployment is expected to soon surpass 40 per cent.

The World Bank and UN agencies have warned that the meltdown of Gaza's entire industrial economy may be irreversible.

<Previous   Next>
Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy

Final Statement of the Palestinian Civil Society Conference,
Cyprus, 16–18 October 2007

As part of the effort by the Palestinian civil society organizations to overcome the state of forced Palestinian fragmentation and consolidate the national role of the Palestinian NGOs in all their places of residence, a conference titled "Toward the Establishment of a Palestinian Civil Society Defragmentation Strategy" was held in Agros, Cyprus, between 16 and 18 October 2007 at the initiative of Ittijah-The Union of Arab Community Based Associations. Forty-four participants representing a broad sector of Palestinian civil society networks, coalitions, and associations in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Kuwait, in addition to a number of international partner organizations supporting Palestinian rights, attended the conference. The Israeli occupation authorities banned the travel of a delegation representing civil society organizations in Gaza.

The conference discussed a number of issues, notably: The Palestinian situation and Palestinian, regional, and international developments, including the Annapolis conference; the collective Palestinian strategy against the forced fragmentation; the endeavors to rebuild terms of reference and assert the constant Palestinian principles; the strategy of collective Palestinian advocacy; Palestinian media strategies; and local and international coordination on the Palestinian question.

The participants in the conference set bases that would help strengthen the overall Palestinian struggle for liberation in all its contexts: the occupation, the displacement and uprooting, and the assault on Palestinian existence in the 1948 areas.

A draft of a collective organizational structure and an action plan were also devised, and a follow-up committee to implement this plan and lead the agreed process was set up.

Read more...
Who's Online
We have 10 guests online