UN says West Bank closure costs Palestinians heavily
The Palestinian Authority is losing eight-to-10 million dollars a day because of the Israeli closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, a senior UN official said in Geneva Tuesday, March 6.
"The Palestinian Authority lost more than one billion dollars in income and is continuing to sustain losses of eight-to-10 million a day," said UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNWRA) commissioner general Peter Hansen.
"It would take more than five years to repair the damages that have been inflicted upon the territories over the past five months," he said, adding that all sectors of the economy had been hurt.
In agriculture, for example, 65,000 fruit trees had been uprooted and greenhouses had been destroyed. More than 400 people had been killed since September 28 last year, Hansen said.
The UNWRA had called on donor nations to give a $80 million to deal with refugees in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which was "a drop in the ocean to deal with the losses," he added. — (AFP, Geneva)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)