UN: Gaza unemployment rises to 49 percent

Israel's stringent closure of Gaza has created a "profound human dignity crisis," a UN report claimed on Thursday. The report said that Gaza's 1.4 million people are increasingly preoccupied with obtaining basic supplies such as water and food. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that unemployment now stands at 49 percent, up from 32 percent a year ago. Thursday's report also claimed that residents of Gaza City are without power for up to 16 hours a day. Half the city's residents receive water only once a week for a few hours. Eighty percent of the drinking water is substandard. Israel and Egypt sealed Gaza after Hamas seized power 18 months ago. Israel intensified the closure after more fighting in early November.