The economic hardship is exacerbated by the loss of economic sectors that represented a significant source of income such as textiles and agriculture. The unemployment rate currently stands at nearly 40 per cent and will remain high due to the limited economic recovery. Due to the restrictions on imports – especially building materials – health and sanitation infrastructures are seriously affected. The limitations and the almost absolute ban on exports imposed by Israel make economic recovery impossible.
The easing of the closure in June 2010 has had little impact on the daily lives of the residents in Gaza who continue to face many challenges as a result of the collapse of previously prosperous branches of the economy. Increased poverty adds to the lack of freedom of movement for Gazans. More imports and particularly exports are needed to help improve the current situation. Israel retains effective control over the Gaza strip, in particular the movement of people and goods. It has the responsibility to allow the civilian population to lead as normal a life as possible.