Unemployment and political rivalries trouble the lives of Gazans
Half a year after Operation Protective Edge, Gaza has yet succeed to pick itself up from the rubble left behind. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics for the last quarter of 2014, almost half of the Palestinians over the age of fifteen are unemployed, and almost two thirds live in poverty. Parts of these statistics are composed of 12,000 unemployed workers of industrial facilities destroyed during the operation.
Not only Israel is responsible for the dire situation in Gaza. The ongoing rivalry between Hamas and Fatahhas led to the withholding of the salary of 200 PA workers that were appointed by Mahmoud Dahlan, the ousted Fatah Security Chief. Tensions over this rivalry have reached a new high with the assassination attempt of Fatah international relations director Mamoun Sweidan., who recently accused Dahlan of trying to intimidate Fatah activists who are loyal to Abbas by collaboration with the Hamas. The shooting of Sweidan took place on the background of car burnings, kidnappings and bombings that occurred the last three months. While Fatah blame on the assissination attempt on Hamas, Hamas claims it was connected to an internal power struggle in the Fatah, and on the other hand Salafists identified with the IS took responsibility for the targeted bombings of homes of Fatah leaders and the French Cultural Center. Needless to say, this upsurge of violence is hindering co-ordination between the factions over the reconstruction of the strip.