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UN: Gaza Strip Could Be Uninhabitable By 2020

A members of the Palestinian security walks on the rubble before Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah tours the destroyed houses in an area east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. Members of the new Palestinian unity government assembled in Gaza on Thursday for their first Cabinet session in the war-battered territory - a largely symbolic meeting meant to mark the end of absolute Hamas control of the coastal strip. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
A member of the Palestinian security walks on the rubble before Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah tours the destroyed houses in an area east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

(Jerusalem Post) – The Gaza Strip may be uninhabitable in five year’s time if the Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave continues and vital infrastructure is further damaged in military conflicts, a United Nations report released Tuesday claims.

The report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) outlines the organization’s assistance to the Palestinian people and developments in the economy of the Palestinian territories, focusing on the damage caused by last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza and the expansion of settlements in the West Bank.

“The Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, which took place during the conflict in July and August 2014, sent the Palestinian economy into its first recession since 2006,” the report states.

“Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current economic trends persist,” according to UNCTAD. “In addition to eight years of economic blockade, in the past six years, Gaza has endured three military operations that have shattered its ability to export and produce for the domestic market, ravaged its already debilitated infrastructure, left no time for reconstruction and economic recovery, and accelerated the de-development of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed,” the report charges.

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