On the eve of a Middle East peace conference, Gaza's economy teeters in the balance
July 18, 2007: Gaza's economy is high on the agenda as negotiators from the United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia prepare to meet in Portugal with their newly-appointed emissary, Tony Blair. On June 12, citing security reasons, Israel closed the Karni crossing, the last remaining commercial entry point to Gaza. Only basic food and medicines are allowed in. A Palestinian businessman, quoted by the Associated Press, says 68,000 workers have since lost their jobs. According to Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, 'more than 70% of Gaza's factories have stopped production.' The UN, which supplies food aid to 80 per cent of Gaza's population, is urging the so-called quartet of Middle east mediators to press for the reopening of all Gaza border crossings.
Today the UN's World Food program released footage shot inside Gaza. It shows humanitarian deliveries and Gazans coping with an economy on the brink of collapse.
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