Making the children in Gaza poor

Rami Almeghari, a journalist and academic based in Gaza and somebody with whom I spent time during my recent visit there, writes for the Electronic Intifada about a phenomenon I saw constantly in the streets: children begging, a problem only getting worse the longer the blockade continues:

Although the Palestinian Child Law of 2004 forbids children under age 15 from working, the phenomenon has become more prevalent among that age group and younger due to the harsh economic conditions in Gaza. In June, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) published a report stating that the closure of Gaza has pushed the unemployment rate to 44 percent and caused a dramatic rise in poverty. Currently, more than 70 percent of Gaza’s population lives in poverty, with an income of less than $250 a month for a family of seven to nine.