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World Bank: Israel restrictions impede Palestinian economy
Published Tuesday 12/03/2013 (updated) 29/04/2013 14:59
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli closures and restrictions are causing lasting damage to the competitiveness of the Palestinian economy, the World Bank said Tuesday.

Israeli-imposed economic restrictions continue to constrain sustainable economic growth, a situation that is unlikely to change without political progress, according to the World Bank's latest report.

The economic monitoring report warns that the Palestinian economy is in danger of losing its capacity in the global market.

Since the late 1990s, the productivity of the agriculture sector has halved and the manufacturing sector has largely stagnated, the report found.

Exports dropped to 7 percent in 2011, one of the lowest rates in the world. Exports are concentrated in low value-added goods and services and mostly sold to Israel, according to the World Bank.

Water and transport infrastructure is deteriorating, damaging economic productivity, particularly in Gaza which has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

Meanwhile, "alarmingly high" levels of unemployment mean many Palestinians do not have the chance to develop on-the-job skills, the report notes. Increased employment in the public sector has provided short-term relief but is unsustainable and does not prepare workers for private sector roles.

"The worrisome implication of these phenomena is that the long term employability prospects for the Palestinian labor force are being eroded. In addition to the economic implications, protracted unemployment, especially among youth, tends to weaken social cohesion," the report says.

"Continued financial support by the donor community, and increased reform efforts by the PA to manage the current fiscal challenges must remain a high priority," said Mariam Sherman, World Bank country director for the West Bank and Gaza, in a statement.

"However, much bolder efforts to create the basis for a viable economy need to be made to prevent the continued deterioration that will have lasting and costly implications for economic competitiveness and social cohesion," Sherman added.
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
12/03/2013 10:46
Not surprising at all. When settlers destroy olive trees, travelling restrictions, import of building supplies etc etc is bound to have impact on the economy.

2 ) Around / World
12/03/2013 13:19
They forgot to mention that the main and only reason for Israel imposed restriction is palestinian terrorism.

3 ) LOL at least 200,000 palis ar / UNEMPLOYED
12/03/2013 14:13
because of the SELF IMPOSED BAN ON WORKING FOR JEWS THE PLO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT EMPLOYMENT THEY ONLY SERVE ISLAM TO DESTROY ISRAEL~!

4 ) Mel / USA
12/03/2013 14:57
Gutless,gonadless,for-the-profit,WORLD BANK statements,from CEO's at ease with ISRAEL'S POLICY/METHOD,since 1948-67-78-06-13(supported by USG & its UN subalterns)is one of evil COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT,ATTRITION,RATIONING("diet"),INHUMANE RESTRICTION OF FREEDOM&DIGNITY,to torture the mind,body,soul,spirit of Arab PALESTINE &anyone,who attempts to resist BRUTAL OCCUPATION/LOOTING."We Hold these Truths to be self-evident",that Israel believes it's EVEN ABOVE GOD&HUMANITY,in'true'Nazi-scum spirit!!!

5 ) southparkbear / usa
12/03/2013 16:16
compared with syria, egypt, libya, tunis, iraq, iran, yemen... the palestinians are experiencing a golden era

6 ) Arnold / Canada
12/03/2013 16:32
Mel / USA - why do you bother to live in the USA. Truly your calling is to live in Palestine or any other Arab country.

7 ) Outlier / USA
12/03/2013 17:14
If the Palestinians truly want change, they should begin peace negotiations with Israel. That is where change can be achieved.

8 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
12/03/2013 18:10
The report claims "...the Palestinian economy is in danger of losing its capacity in the global market." I'm the first to priase Fayyad for the major work he's done, but let's get real - the Pal economy doesn't have the capacity yet for the global market. For that, you need a peace treaty so the borders can be opened and the investment started. Which means, of course, that you have to NEGOTIATE! All the problems listed above will remain until we have a peace treaty.

9 ) gabi / australia
13/03/2013 01:45
#8 - "so the borders can be opened" What are the borders? You live in Israel, what do you say are Israel's borders? Can't tell us? Certainly maps of Israel can't. They show the borders extending to the Jordan. # 6, 7, peace negotiations? Israel's idea of negotiation is "give us all the land then we'll talk." # 2 when was the last act of terrorism? Perpetrated by the IDF, and settlers, almost daily. And those terrorists act with absolute impunity in a state created by terrorism. Hypocrisy!

10 ) JoeUSA / USA
13/03/2013 03:38
#2 Israeli closure and occupation is not a result of ' Terrorism". From 1948 till 1969 Palestinain Israelis were under Marshal Law. They could not move from one town to the other w/o a military permit. There was not a one single violence incident recorded for that duration. So why the Marshal Law? Israel thrives on power and controling others due to feelings of insecurity. The Palestinians should not pay the price for such neurosis....
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