Powered by WebAds

Thursday, July 19, 2007

UNRWA cries "Wolf" in Gaza

UNRWA is warning for the umpteenth time that the Gaza economy is on the verge of collapse:
The Karni crossing has been shut since June 12 because the Fatah-affiliated Palestinians who operated it fled after Hamas took over Gaza in bloody fighting. But both Israel and the Fatah leader, President Mahmoud Abbas, have been in no hurry to help Hamas by working to regularize Gaza’s economic life.

Karen AbuZayd, who is the commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which deals with Palestinian refugees, said in an interview: “Without Karni the Gaza economy will collapse unless it is opened for exports and not just for imports, so we don’t punish this whole people.”
Karni is the only crossing to Israel that is able to economically handle 'Palestinian' exports - the other crossings to Israel can allegedly only handle imports into Gaza. Israel, in coordination with 'moderate' 'Palestinian President' Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has kept Karni closed for more than a month now:
In security terms, bringing imports into Gaza is not a big problem for Israel. Exports, however, are a different matter. Without Karni, with its sophisticated scanners, every export, even if authorized, would have to be gone over carefully, if not by hand then with smaller scanners, to ensure that no explosives or weapons are being smuggled out of Gaza.

Having no Palestinians on the Gaza side of Karni whom Israel trusts has presented a so far insurmountable problem for exports. Israel has no relationship with Hamas in Gaza and refuses to have one, and while Hamas has offered to bring Fatah back to Karni or even to hire a Turkish company to operate the Palestinian side, the Israelis say it’s a Palestinian problem.
Maybe Hamas should have thought of that before they started throwing people off the roofs of buildings?

Maybe they ought to approach Egypt about exporting (and for that matter importing) through the Rafah crossing? After all, it seems to work so well with weapons....

On a slightly different note, there are a couple of gems about the Gaza economy - such as it is - in this article that must be pointed out:
Her agency, U.N.R.W.A., is pressing both in Ramallah and in Israel to get Karni open, she said. The agency is already providing food aid to 825,000 people in Gaza, 80 percent of the refugee population, while the World Food Program, another U.N. agency, is feeding another 250,000 non-refugees, she said.

That is nearly 1.1 million people, in a territory with a population of only 1.4 million to 1.5 million, “and further aid dependency is what we’re worried about,” said Ms. AbuZayd, who is an American.

Her Gaza director, John Ging, said that “if present closures continue, we anticipate that Gaza will become nearly a totally aid-dependent society, a society robbed of the possibility of self-sufficiency and the dignity of work.”


More than 68,000 workers have lost their jobs since mid-June, which represents more than 80 percent of the private sector employment, said Nasser al-Hilou, a prominent Gazan businessman. U.N.R.W.A. halted $93 million worth of construction projects for lack of building materials, and put workers on leave.
Let's crunch some numbers here. There are 1.5 million people in Gaza and 1.1 million of them are being fed by UNRWA. 73.33% of Gazans are being fed by UNRWA. Sounds pretty close to "a totally aid-dependent society" to me. That leaves 400,000 people who are apparently feeding themselves. Let's assume an average family size of six, which is actually probably low for Gaza. That would mean 66,000 households. But the article says that 68,000 workers are 80% of the private employment in Gaza. And there's also public sector employment. And even if you have two employed people per household that would leave public sector employment at 47,000. But we all know it's much more than that, because they have 70,000 'police.' Something here doesn't add up.

Now let's try something different. There are 400,000 employed people in Gaza (can't be because 49% of Gazans are under the age of 16, but let's assume that there are). 68,000 people are 80% of those who are employed in the private sector, which makes total private sector employment 85,000. And total public sector employment 315,000.... Sounds like a thriving economy, eh?

When there were Israeli Jews living in Gaza, they were thriving economically. In fact, many of them were quite wealthy until the Israeli government took everything away, expelled them from their homes, confiscated their businesses and gave them to the 'Palestinians.' The Gaza 'Palestinians' were given the greenhouses from which the Israelis made their living. They chose to destroy them and use them as weapons tunnels instead. Don't feel sorry for them. As my mother of blessed memory used to say, they made their bed and now they have to lie in it.

Every teenager knows that at some point, you have to take responsibility for your own actions. Unless you're a 'Palestinian.' Then it's Israel's fault.


Post a Comment

<< Home