Edited by Oliver Morrissey and Michael Tribe
Muhammed Migdad, Hossein Jalilian and John Weiss 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the current situation of the small-scale industrial sector in the Gaza Strip (with the West Bank, one of the two Occupied Territories of Palestine) a small land area of around 360 sq. km occupied by Israel since the 1967 war and now part of the New Palestinian Entity (NPE). Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas of the world (total population is estimated at more than one million) and is subject to a lack of natural resources, particularly water. Unemployment is a very serious problem with a high level of external migration of those with qualiﬁcations and skills and a heavy dependence on Israel for employment. Currently around 40 per cent of the population with jobs work in Israel (World Bank, 1993–96). Industry in the Gaza Strip is largely small-scale and has suffered severely from the political instability of the region with the major disruption to economic life of the Intifada period and the more recent border closures imposed by Israeli governments. The chapter commences by giving a brief background to the economy of Gaza and the problems facing industry there. It then discusses the results of a survey of ﬁrms conducted in 1996–97 by one of the authors, covering a sample of 150 ﬁrms, which is approximately 30 per cent of all formally registered ﬁrms with ﬁve or more workers. To our knowledge this is the most detailed study to date on...
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