The political and economic role of trade, unions and associations in the Gaza strip 1967-1993
This thesis attempts to examine the political and economic role of the trade unions and associations in the Gaza Strip 1967-1993. The main theme of analysis is based upon the assumption that these indigenous organizations showed a high degree of politicization. The thesis discusses the unstable socio-economic-organizational- political-and legal setting in the Gaza Strip under the Israeli occupation which constituted a limit on the overall performance of the Palestinian organizations. Within this volatile setting, three main actors interacted: the trade unions and associations, the Israeli occupation authorities, and the Palestinian political factions. The study gives a general review of the associations and non governmental organizations working in the Gaza Strip and it examines the genesis of the Palestinian trade unionism and the trade unions in the Gaza Strip. These organizations constituted a Palestinian institutional- organizational national response and worked parallel to the occupation apparatus. The thesis goes on to analyse the political role of the trade unions and associations in the Gaza Strip through discussing : the nature of their relationship with the Israeli authorities; their relationship with the Palestinian political movements; their positions towards the uprising (intifada); and their attitudes towards the peace process. The study argues further that the economic role of the trade unions and association was very limited compared to their political role. The loan programmes and economic activities of two lending organizations working the Gaza Strip are examined. The lending capacity of the credit organizations was less than US$10 million (the GDP of the Gaza Strip was about US$250 million in 1993). Most of their loans went to finance services, consumptive, and non-productive projects.