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Palestinian pedestrians and a motorcyclist commute along a road between ruins of houses, which witnesses said were damaged or destroyed during the Israeli offensive, in Beit Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip September 7, 2014.REUTERS / Mohammed Salem

Reuters: Gaza's economy "on verge of collapse" says World Bank

* Gaza's economic output contracted 15 percent in 2014
* Unemployment the highest in the world
* World Bank warns of collapse, threat of disease

JERUSALEM, May 22 (Reuters) - Gaza's economy is in a worse state than any other in the world, with unemployment at a global high, output contracting sharply and the long-term prospects worrying, the World Bank said on Friday.

Repeated rounds of conflict, internal divisions and the embargo Israel and Egypt impose have left the territory "on the verge of collapse", the report said, with its 1.8 million population facing poverty and destitution despite vast aid.

"Blockades, war and poor governance have strangled Gaza's economy and the unemployment rate is now the highest in the world," said the report, drafted by Steen Lau Jorgensen, the World Bank's director for Gaza and the West Bank.

It is to be presented in Brussels on May 27.

Update #1: World Bank: Gaza's Economy on 'Verge of Collapse' -- VOA
Update #2: Gaza economy 'on verge of collapse' -- Newsweek

WNU Editor: Continuous war has consequences .... and until there is a political solution .... which is nowhere in sight and it will not happen with the current rulers in Gaza (and Israel) .... this misery is only going to continue.

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