What can satellite images tell us about the socio-economic situation?

A few months ago I published this picture to show the differences between Gaza and Israel. It says a lot about where the money is and how the Israeli Occupation is affecting the economy in Gaza. While the spatial distance between the two is very small, the socio-economic distance is enormous.

A reason why it looks like this is because there is an Israeli imposed blockade on Gaza that prohibits most imports and exports to and from the small area. This basically means that important building material to rebuild what has been destroyed in airstrikes is not allowed in, and at the same time agricultural produce is often not allowed to be exported.

The ban on import’s is preventing farmers from repairing irrigation systems and other agricultural infrastructure. 170 million USD worth of damages from Israeli attacks were reported by the  Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics in 2009.

So while Israel’s agriculture is thriving, just a few kilometers away farmers are throwing away their crops because they aren’t allowed to export them.

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