Just the Facts: Blockade of Gaza

  • The blockade was first imposed on Gaza by Israel in 2006 after Hamas won the Palestinian elections.
  • Gaza’s unemployment rate is around 50%—one of the highest in the world.
  • Youth unemployment is over 60%.
  • Over 80% of the population depends on international assistance.
  • The United Nations and International Committee of the Red Cross have declared the blockade an illegal form of collective punishment against the Gaza population.
  • 70% of households in Gaza have running water for only six to eight hours once every two to four days.
  • Restrictions on the import of basic construction materials have deteriorated basic services and impede the reconstruction of homes.
  • In March 2021, there were 4,403 crossings in and out of Gaza, less than 10% of the monthly average (about 50,000) prior to the imposition of movement restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In March 2021, 1,293 exit permit applications were submitted for patients referred to specialized treatment in the West Bank or Israel. Only 66% were approved.
  • Following the hostilities in May 2021, the World Bank estimates up to US$485 million are needed for the recovery of Gaza during the first 24 months.


Learning More To learn more about the blockade of Gaza we suggest you read “Gaza Strip: A beginner’s guide to an enclave under blockade” from Al Jazeera. And you can watch the short video “How life changed since Israel blockaded the Gaza Strip?” from WION. To go deeper, we will be developing an extensive list of Additional Resources at the bottom of this week’s entry as well as a YouTube playlist on the subject.