‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza – NYTimes.com

A new UN report explores an “unlivable” area:

There are certainly less-livable slums in Africa, South Asia or in Delhi, India’s financial center, or Cairo, just across the desert, but here in Gaza poverty is a particular kind of political football. Some see it as a sure sign that Israeli restrictions on trade, fishing and travel make the place a concrete prison. Others say Gaza already attracts far more attention and international aid than other impoverished regions of the world, and that it is corruption, mismanagement and infighting among Palestinian factions that repress Gaza’s living standards.

The Forgotten Neighborhood, where about 40 families have settled over the past four years near a municipal slaughterhouse in southern Gaza City, is an extreme case. Much of the strip has seen a building boom since Israel eased its blockade two years ago, and the smuggling tunnels from Egypt are thriving once again after being closed briefly last month because of a terrorist attack on the border.

via ‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza – NYTimes.com.


13 thoughts on “‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza – NYTimes.com”

  1. This situation in Gaza is sad representation of the hate and distrust between Israel and palestinians living in Gaza. The whole situation would be extremely worse if it weren’t for the support of the United Nations. The Gaza Strip is a small but very densely populated region south of Irael and suffers from largescale poverty. This is due in large part to Israeli “restrictions on trade, fishing, and travel.” (‘Forgotten Neighborhood’ Underscores Growing Poverty of Gaza – NYTimes.com.) However, the government in Gaza is divided and there remains much corruption. Children are having to work at young ages to make up for minimal wages. I do not know if it is conceivable that Israel will back down in its repression of Gaza, but certainly it would help Gaza ‘s suffering citizens immensely if some sort of greater diplomatic success was achieved between the two nations.


  2. While this is going on in Gaza, the West Bank is experiencing protests from the Palestinians regarding their economic hardship. There is a common factor in both Gaza and the West Bank with a lot of the problems they face, which is the actions of Israel. While I believe Israel does have a right to exist, I do not support their actions on the Palestinians. Much of this blame can be attributed to the restrictions and pressure Israel and Benjamin Netanyahu enforce. To truly solve any of these problems in the Palestinian areas, Israel must be willing to give up their dreams of being a “Jewish state”. The only solution that will really bring balance is the One State Solution of a combined state of both peoples.
    You can read about the current financial crisis in the Palestinian Authority here: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/11/world/middleeast/spreading-palestinian-protests-focus-on-leaders.html?_r=1&ref=world

    1. I couldn’t agree more with Colin. “Israel must be willing to give up their dreams of being a “Jewish state”. The only solution that will really bring balance is the One State Solution of a combined state of both peoples.” Totally.

  3. According to the BBC, border violence between Gaza and Israel has escalated in just the past few days (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19541416). Two Palestinian children were injured by Israeli air strikes on smuggling tunnels. These air strikes were in retaliation for rocket attacks from Gaza earlier this week. This is just another example of how poor the situation in this area is, and as the above comments mentions, Gaza’s citizens would greatly benefit from some kind of diplomatic solution.

  4. This article was interesting to me because it shows how complicated and oft times, uncooperative, politics can create desperate economic and social conditions. The issue of political recognition, alone, has been the cause of roadblocks to development and security in Israel, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Zvi Bar’el from “Haaretz” wrote an interesting article on how freeing Gaza Strip could prove beneficial for both Israel and Gaza, and does not necessarily require Israel to recognize Hamas or any other Palestinian authority in Gaza to do so.

  5. It seems to me that Gaza is getting more than enough financial support to help remedy the disastrous situation there. The Saudi-led Islamic Development Bank is spending $247 million to help, and has promised to double that amount in 2014. Turkey has invested $40 million for a teaching hospital. Israel has allowed 20,000 tons of gravel to cross the boarder without strict travel checks. Additionally, the UN reconstruction program is bringing $200 million into Gaza through Gulf-funding. Source: http://www.economist.com/node/21560611

    I’m sure that some positive change will be seen, but money is not the solution to Gaza’s problems. No money is going to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is hindering Gaza’s economic growth, transportation, government, and community.

    1. I would love to quote Collin here again, “Israel must be willing to give up their dreams of being a “Jewish state”. The only solution that will really bring balance is the One State Solution of a combined state of both peoples.” Money is definitely not going to solve this problem. There should be some compromises made on the Palestinian side as well.

  6. A recent terrorist attack on the Gaza border might allow for greater cooperation between Israel and Egypt, which could lead to an improvement of relations between the two nations, subsequently benefiting the Gaza Strip. Hillel Frisch, a political science lecturer, speaking of increased cooperation between Israel and Egypt said, “It will strengthen Morsi’s commitment to be a status-quo actor, which is a big, big thing strategically. He runs a state, and there are greater enemies to the Egyptian state than Israel. In that sense, it’s a game-changer.” This terrorist attack has again made it clear that Gaza is not merely an Israeli ‘problem,’ but that any effective solution will require multilateral cooperation.

  7. It is amazing to me how much politics can influence people’s living conditions. While Israel enjoys prosperity, the Gaza strip suffers incredibly. Politics have created a situation where people living in relatively the same region enjoy very different standards of living. Examples of the sharp difference in standard of living between Palestinians and Israelis is seen throughout all of Israel. This article explains that.

  8. It is a sad reality. People in Gaza are living in homes with no floors, and no where to sleep, parents have no money to buy children book, and cloths, and food. It is a horrible conditions to be in. In the article, the author mention that “some see it as a sure sign that Israeli restrictions make the place a concrete prison”; however, is all the blame of Israel? There also other issues to take under considerations like: corruption, mismanagement and infighting within the Palestinians. However, it seems to me that Israel influence is the may cause. Protest in Gaza show how people are reacting in relation of the Poverty in the region. “A young Palestinian has died after setting himself on fire in the Gaze Strip in protest at the economic ships in the enclave, which has been under a crippling Israeli blockade” (http://www.islamonline.com/news/articles/2/Suicides-Protest-Gaza-Poverty-Siege.html)

  9. It is a very complicated situation with a very complicated solution, unfortunately. I do agree with the many who have said that a one-state solution seems to be the most logical. The real question is if it seems so obvious, why has it not been done? There are so many factors that play into the process of resolving this conflict, and I think that one important one is the involvement of a mediator. I tend to agree with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s opinion, which is that the U.S. and the UN should most definitely remain involved to help ease the tension between the two states. Without a mediator I think things could be a lot worse.


  10. In November of last year I had the opportunity to take a day trip to the West Bank. Now, the Palestinians in the West Bank are in a much different situation than in Gaza– they are under different leadership, are geographically isolated from Gaza, and have…less violent relations with Israel. On my tour of the West Bank, my taxi driver (a university-graduate high-school teacher that has little hope of finding a job in his field) showed me the “Berlin Wall”, a towering concrete wall (actually taller than the Berlin Wall) that surrounds the West Bank, physically and psychologically isolating Palestinians from Israel and the rest of the world.

    Perhaps the most troubling aspect of my trip to Israel and the West Bank are the implications of a Jewish nation segregating and confining a minority in such a blatant manner. Either the Israelis have chosen to overlook this paradox, or have conveniently chosen to forget how it is to be where the Palestinians are now.

    I bring this up not to condemn Israel, but merely to suggest that the solution to the “Palestinian problem” involves change and reconciliation on both sides of the fence.

    Here is a piece from the Economist on the West Bank barrier:


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