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Gaza child labor doubled in the last 5 years, Palestinians say

Almost 10,000 kids aged 10 to 17 said to work in the Strip in places such as garages and construction sites

Young children sell bread snacks on Gaza beach on June 13, 2015 in Gaza City, Gaza (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images via JTA)
Young children sell bread snacks on Gaza beach on June 13, 2015 in Gaza City, Gaza (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images via JTA)

Child labor has doubled in the Gaza Strip in the last five years, the Palestinian government said.

Some 9,700 children aged 10 to 17 are currently working in Gaza in places such as garages and on construction sites, Reuters reported, citing the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics.

The legal employment age in Gaza is 15; nearly a third of the working children fall below that threshold.

The unemployment rate in Gaza is 43 percent, up from 35% five years ago, according to Reuters. About 80% of the Gaza population is dependent on international aid.

The news agency quoted two Palestinians boys, 16 and 12, who work in a downtown Gaza garage: The older boy said he makes $13 a week, while the younger boy reportedly earns half that amount working nine hours a day.

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