According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the vast majority of import-dependent industries – notably the wood, construction and garment sectors – have temporarily closed down.
In addition, only 10 per cent of Gaza’s industries, those depending on previously stored raw materials, remain partially functional.
Total losses since the closure of the Gaza crossings in mid-June is now reaching $23 million, OCHA says, with an average daily loss of about half a million dollars.
The Office also reports that, on Sunday and Monday, 414 Palestinians who were stranded in Egypt for 51 days returned to Gaza through the Nitzana and Erez crossings, and additional returns to Gaza are planned in the coming days.
Drawing attention to the situation on the ground, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated recently that “the continued restrictions on Gaza will have a severe humanitarian impact and can only cause further suffering to the people there.”
Likewise, UN humanitarian officials have warned that the restrictions are threatening the economic sustainability of the territory, where more than 1.4 million live in a 360-square-kilometre area.