Know More About Palestine

Sunday Aug. 8, 2010 6:04 PM (EST+7)

RAMALLAH, August 8 (JMCC) - Despite Israel’s easing of the Gaza blockade in mid-June very little has changed for many of Gaza’s poorest families. Shop supplies might be more ample but many still cannot afford to buy them.

Unemployment runs at 40% and the poverty rate, says the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, is at 70%. Since the Hamas takeover in 2007,  and the subsequent closure of Gaza to the outside world, per capita incomes are 40% lower than they were 3 years ago.

The dramatic figures translate into traumatic human story. Many families have taken their children out of school, sending them instead to forage in rubbish dumps, streets and workshops. Many families continue to relay on food handouts for survival.

The UK-based aid group Save the Children, working with Getty photographer Warrick Page, has spoken to some of Gaza's young breadwinners.

Moussa Suhail Obeid, 13, rubbish collector, Gaza City
Moussa Suhail Obeid collects plastic and steel at Gaza's main landfill, near the Gaza-Israel border. He is paid half a shekel for every kilogram of scrap he gathers, making him 5 (80p; $1.3) to 8 shekels a day.
I left school this year and I'm not going back. I was never a good student and I know I'm not going to be a doctor or a teacher, so I decided to quit because I'm convinced it's a waste of time.

But that's not the only reason - my dad is unemployed and I have nine brothers and sisters who badly need food and money for school. My brother works in a factory that makes plastic pipes for agriculture but he works only when they have raw material.

I feel so bad when I see other children playing and going to school while I'm working here in the heart of garbage. This is our life - we can't have everything we want.

Read more at the BBC…






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