The economic loss is estimated at 57.7 billion U.S. dollars, Learn The estimated cost is equivalent to three and a half times the GDP of the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 2019″.
In addition, it Indicated Between 1998 and 2007, the minimum cost of poverty eradication in the West Bank increased sixfold-from US$73 million to US$428 million.
“We are talking about recreating despair in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” said Richard Kozul-Wright. UNCTAD The Director of the Department of Globalization and Development Strategies called for the reconnection of the Palestinian territories into a “fully mature country” in order to reverse this situation.
Aftermath of the second Palestinian uprising
this report Covers the period after the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising in September 2000.
UNCTAD economist Rami Alazzeh said that Israel’s blockade policy is “multi-layered”.
The roads between the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and the Jordanian border were closed. “By 2020, the separation wall that Israel began to build in 2003 will still exist”.
and There are 600 barriers in the West Bank, including checkpoints and gates.
The direct impact of Israel’s stricter restrictions on the West Bank has witnessed a sharp decline in living standards, which has the greatest impact on the poor.
The report predicts that without Israeli blockades, restrictions, and military operations, the poverty rate in the West Bank in 2004 would reach 12%, which is one-third of the current 35%.
The report found that the per capita GDP of the West Bank in 2019 will be 44% higher than the actual value.
“For a small economy like this, this is a considerable amount of money,” said Mahmoud El Khafif, UNCTAD’s coordinator for the Palestinian people.
“Unemployment growth and stagnant development”
According to the report, between 2000 and 2002, stricter Israeli restrictions and military operations caused the population of the West Bank to shrink by one-third.
Although its economy has grown at an annual rate of 6.2% since 2007, the report pointed out that the expansion has fluctuated greatly-from 13.1% in 2008 to 1.6% in 2019-resulting in a high unemployment rate, hovering at 18% Around that time.
Unable to find jobs, many Palestinians are looking for work in Israel and its settlements, causing the West Bank’s economy to be harmfully dependent on Israel.
However, without it, the unemployment rate in the West Bank would be almost as high as the besieged Gaza Strip, with an average unemployment rate of 39.8% between 2007 and 2019.
But the report pointed out that even if you are employed in Israel, Since 1999, the West Bank regional economy has failed to reduce or stabilize its unemployment rate.
The report calls for the removal of all movement restrictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory And reconnect it with East Jerusalem and all cities and villages in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
It also called for the Palestinian public and private sectors to be able to establish and operate agricultural, industrial, commercial and mining enterprises in Area C — which accounts for more than 60% of the West Bank — and Palestinians are currently not allowed to operate businesses there.
The document reiterates Until the end of the occupation, Palestinian economic development will continue to be hindered And its cost to the people continues to grow.
Mr. Kozul-Wright emphasized that to create “decent jobs”, “it is vital to overcome the level of poverty that we see in the West Bank”.