Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion sti­fling Pales­tinian econ­omy: UNCTAD

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE Pales­tinian econ­omy could eas­ily dou­ble, while sky-high un­em­ploy­ment and poverty would plum­met if the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion were lifted, the United Na­tions de­vel­op­ment agency said,

In a new re­port, UNCTAD pointed to a long list of ways the Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion sti­fled the economies of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in­clud­ing the con­fis­ca­tion of Pales­tinian land, wa­ter and other nat­u­ral re­sources.

The wide­spread re­stric­tions on the move­ment of peo­ple and goods, the de­struc­tion of homes, trees and other as­sets, and the ex­pan­sion of Is­raeli set­tle­ments were also dam­ag­ing, it said.

“With­out oc­cu­pa­tion, the econ­omy of the Oc­cu­pied Pales­tinian Ter­ri­tory could pro­duce twice the GDP [gross do­mes­tic prod­uct] it cur­rently gen­er­ates,” the re­port said.

The econ­omy of the ter­ri­to­ries grew 3.5 per­cent last year af­ter shrink­ing 0.2pc in 2014, when it was hard-hit by the dev­as­tat­ing war in Gaza be­tween Is­rael and Is­lamist rulers Ha­mas and other fac­tions.

Per capita in­come re­mains below its pre-2014 level, the re­port said.

The 2014 Gaza war killed more than 2200 Pales­tini­ans and 73 on the Is­raeli side while caus­ing eco­nomic losses close to three times the size of Gaza’s GDP.

With re­con­struc­tion ham­pered by Is­rael’s block­ade and by lag­ging in­ter­na­tional aid, 91pc of dam­aged houses in Gaza have yet to be re­built and 75,000 peo­ple re­main dis­placed two years on, the UNCTAD re­port said.

It also pointed to the dire im­pact Is­rael’s con­trol of the so-called Area C, which cov­ers 61pc of the West Bank and 66pc of its graz­ing land.

“It is es­ti­mated that the oc­cu­pa­tion of Area C costs the Pales­tinian econ­omy the equiv­a­lent of 35pc of GDP” [US$4.4 bil­lion in 2015], UNCTAD said. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.