UN agency warns of crisis deterioration in blockaded Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-17 20:10:57|Editor: xuxin
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GAZA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in Near East Operation in Gaza, Bo Schack, warned Wednesday a "serious dramatic deterioration" of crisis of the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Schack said in a press conference held in Gaza city that "a dramatic deterioration has hit the situation in Gaza Strip in the past months that has led to a very severe humanitarian situation."

"We are speaking here about the problem of electricity outage for long hours, lack of drinking water, and pumping wastewater to the sea in addition to decreasing salaries of public sector employees in Gaza," explained Schack, while he warned that "the situation for youth is very difficult and may lead to lack of hope, which could also lead to serious dramatic consequences that must be taken into consideration."

The coastal Gaza enclave has been under a strict blockade since the Islamic Hamas movement took control of the Strip in mid 2007, after days of infighting between Hamas members and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party members.

The decade long blockade has lead to a series of crises in the Gaza Strip including lack of basic services and high unemployment rates that reached up to 41.7 percent end of 2016, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

In the past two months, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which covers the payroll of public servants in both Gaza and West Bank, has been deducting parts of the Gaza employees salaries by nearly 30 percent.

Additionally, the Hamas run Energy Authority in Gaza announced early in April that it will stop the only power plant in Gaza until further notice, saying it cannot keep it running while "The Ramallah based government continues to impose taxes in fuel."

The Ramallah based National Unity Government accused Hamas of not allowing it to work in Gaza Strip, and therefore has held the Islamic movement responsible for the electricity crisis in Gaza.