New Study Highlights How Hamas Destroyed Gaza’s Economy

Mar 25, 2024 | History

The economy of the Gaza Strip has been ravaged by the Hamas terror group, whose years-long rule over the Palestinian enclave has devastated the lives of the local population independent of Israeli military operations, according to a new study.

The Kohelet Policy Forum, an Israeli think tank, released a new report showing the detrimental impact that Hamas has had on the livelihoods of Palestinians in Gaza. According to the study — titled “The Palestinian Economy and Palestinian Workers on the Eve of the Iron Swords War” — gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in Gaza was roughly the same as that in the West Bank in 2005 at $17,700, right before Israel fully withdrew all its soldiers and civilian settlers from Gaza. Once the withdrawal occurred, however, GDP per capita dropped drastically, falling to $5,500, or only about 30 percent of GDP in the West Bank.

The numbers since then have only gotten worse in Gaza, where the unemployment rate has skyrocketed, reaching well above even the high rate in the West Bank.

For the 25-34 age range, for example, the unemployment rate for Palestinians in the West Bank is 10 percent. In Gaza, the figure stands at 46 percent.

In the 35-44 and 45-54 age ranges, according to the study, Palestinians in the West Bank have an unemployment rate at around 6 percent, while in Gaza it is more than 20 percent.

For women in Gaza, unemployment across age groups sits around 25 percent on average.

[The Algemeiner Report continues]

Economic activity in Gaza is down 87 percent, while in the West Bank it has decreased by 24 percent, which the study said is “a result of the cancellation of work permits for over 90 percent of the Palestinian workers employed in Israel.”

Following Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7, when Palestinian terrorists invaded Israel, killed over 1,200 people, and took 253 others as hostages, Israel for security reasons canceled the permits of more than 130,000 workers, including many in the construction industry — a move that has also hurt Israel.

In sum, the new report painted a bleak picture of what Hamas’ brutal rule has inflicted upon Gazans, as well as the intense work that will be needed to rebuild Gaza once the war ends. Israel has made clear that any post-war arrangement in Gaza must not include Hamas in power.

View this The Algemeiner Report from March 25th