By Momen Ghorab, and Mohamed Majid
GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA) – Businesses in the Gaza Strip staged a general strike on Monday in protest of the deteriorating economic conditions in the Palestinian territory.
Companies, banks and markets closed their doors to customers across the seaside enclave.
The one-day strike was called by private sector companies in an attempt to shed the light on the worsening economic conditions in the strip.
“The inter-Palestinian division is the main cause of this economic deterioration,” Ahmed Abu Shaaban, a store owner, told Anadolu Agency.
“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is responsible for what is happening in Gaza,” he said, calling on the government to shoulder its responsibilities toward improving conditions in the strip.
A home of around two million people, the Gaza Strip experiences totally deteriorated life standards because of a destructive Israeli blockade that has been underway for more than 10 years besides a Palestinian rift and a crippled reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas groups.
Mahir al-Tabbaa of the Gaza Chamber of Commerce warned that Gaza was on the verge of an economic collapse.
He said unemployment in the strip has reached 46 percent with around 250,000 people workless.
“Poverty rates have reached 65 percent and food insecurity hit 50 percent in 2017,” he said.
Al-Tabbaa linked any economic improvement in Gaza to lifting the crippling Israeli blockade on the Palestinian strip.
Last week, Israeli security officials warned that the Gaza economy was on the verge of total collapse.