In this Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 photo, children of the Alwadiya extended family look through a cloth that serves as a door to their family house in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
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Life has never seemed so grim for the Mustafas, a family of seven cramped into a two-room hovel in Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp.Seven years into an Israeli blockade and 10 months into a crippling Egyptian one, Gaza's economic growth has evaporated and unemployment soared to almost 40 percent by the end of 2013 . The Mustafas often must pick up and move when rain floods their low-lying home – even on a sunny day, it's lined with slick, smelly mildew. They stand in the dark, as 12-hour power cuts are now the norm throughout Gaza due to scant fuel. The U.N.'s World Food Program gives food aid to some 180,000 other residents.More than 1.2 million of 1.8 million Gazans are refugees or their descendants who fled or were driven from land that became part of Israel in the war of its foundation in 1948 . The crisis is pulling down the Strip's most vulnerable, not just among its poor but also its sick.There are 13,000 sufferers in the Strip and it is the second highest cause of death among Palestinians after heart disease.
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