The Gaza economy grew 31 percent in the second quarter of 2011, according to figures released by the Palestinian Authority's central bureau of statistics. The 25 percent unemployment rate in Gaza represents the lowest rate in a decade.
And yet, Time is not on our side. Ever biased, Time's headline reads "As the Peace Process Goes Sideways, Gaza’s Economy Remains Stiffled" Only in a reality challenged existence would 31% economic growth be considered "stiffled"
Fom the Israeli ministry of Foreign Affairs:
On 15 November a plan to import building materials for the private sector in the Gaza Strip began. Building materials for the renovation and rehabilitation of 10 private sector factories will be imported, under the supervision of the international community. This is in order to ensure that the raw materials reach their intended destinations and do not fall into the hands of terrorist organizations.
Growth reached 31% in the second quarter of this year (the construction industry accounted for the most significant increase in economic growth).
Unemployment is the lowest it has been in a decade.
There is no shortage of commercial goods in the Gaza Strip.
One hundred exit permits for businesspersons are issued every day, in addition to the passage of Gaza residents for humanitarian reasons and the entry of international organization employees.
The import of new cars is also permitted, and many luxury cars are imported to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.
Recently Israel approved 13 more projects of the international community, bringing to 176 the total number of projects approved. Thirty-five of the projects have been completed, 70 are in various stages of implementation, 63 have not yet begun, and eight were canceled.
Up to the beginning of November, 11,343 truckloads of building materials were delivered to the Gaza Strip for these projects.
Projects by type
Education - 64
Infrastructure - 32
Agriculture - 18
Health - 14
Housing - 13
Roads - 10
Miscellaneous - 25
Projects by sponsor
UNRWA - 76
USAID - 47
UNDP - 39
World Bank - 3
Red Cross - 3
France - 2
Germany - 2
Egypt - 1
Belgium - 1
Netherlands - 1
Sweden - 1
The agricultural export season begins on 21 November. Exports are expected to be similar to last year (291 truckloads of agricultural produce were exported last year). Last week seminars were held for exporters from Gaza on packing and export procedures in order to ensure optimal management of this year's exports.