‘The overwhelming majority of people we work with tell us, ‘We don’t want the aid, we want to have an opportunity to work and earn money’. Especially people who had a decent job but lost it in the last many years: before asking for any aid, they ask for a job.”
In his work as Gaza-based communications officer with Oxfam GB, Karl Schembri interacts on a regular basis with some of Gaza’s most impoverished Palestinians, poverty he says is avoidable.
“Gaza cannot be called a humanitarian situation, it’s all man-made. It’s a situation of de-development, where the infrastructure and know-how was there and development was occurring,” he says, referring to the years before 2006 when, after Hamas was democratically elected, Israel imposed its suffocating closure of the Gaza Strip.’