Gaza has one of the poorest economies in the world and last year's Israeli offensive on the territory has made matters worse.

According to the United Nations, the offensive destroyed or damaged hundreds of factories, besides ruining Gaza's agriculture.

The UN puts the region's jobless rate at 45 per cent.

As a result, thousands of Gazans try to cross into Israel in desperate search for work. But in view of the siege imposed on the territory by Israel, it is a hazardous journey and many do not make it.

A Palestinian human rights group says about 60 Gazans have been killed trying to cross the border since 2000.

According to John Ging, the director of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza, there is no legitimate economy in Gaza anymore.

"Eighty per cent of Gazans are dependent on UN food handouts and the amount given is totally inadequate for a dignified existence," he says.

Barnaby Phillips reports from Gaza.

Source: Al Jazeera