Gaza Prior to 2005


  • Israel had full control over 25 percent of Gaza land for 7500 Jewish settlers (excluding the military bases and bypass roads), according to Israeli Central Bureau of Statistic, while 1.3 million Palestinians (99.5% of Gaza population) lived in less than 75 percent of the land.
  • The annual per capita water consumption was around 2240 cubic metres for Jewish settlers as against 140 cubic meters for Gaza Palestinians, a ratio of 16:1.
  • Food supply, electricity and fuel were all controlled by Israel and cut off at the will of Israel.
  • Agriculture or farming used to account for approximately 25% of Gaza’s economy.
  • 1999 saw the highest export value for Gaza’s citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruits, which were exported to Israel, Europe, and other countries) at approximately US$50 million. Today, due to sanctions and the debilitating blockade, export value stands at US$2.8 million, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.
  • Other main crops grown in Gaza durng the occupation of Gaza included vegetables, flowers, olives, and dates.
  • Fishing was also an important industry in Gaza, with many Gazans working in the fishing sector.
  • Gaza’s industrial sector (food processing, textiles, and furniture manufacturing) was small but had great potential, and used to account for approximately 12% of the territory’s GDP. Today, this has largely been decimated, given the reliance of inputs and imports of raw materials from Israel.


  • By destroying Gaza’s only power plant – which left Gaza with catastrophically reduced water supplies, sewage treatment, refrigeration and medical services have been severely impacted.
  • Gaza is today economically sealed off from the outside world.
  • Palestinian customs and tax revenues are regularly withheld by Israel.
  • workshops, greenhouses, agricultural lands, livestock farms, and irrigation networks, were bulldozed during the 2005 pullout and have since been repeatedly bombed, resulting in a precipitous decline in already desperate living standards.