UN: Israeli Blockade Gravely Damaging Palestinian Economy
A report issued by the office of the UN special coordinator in Gaza says that the Israeli blockade on the Occupied Territories has inflicted major losses on the Palestinian economy.
Cited by the Cairo-based Al Gumhouriyyah Arabic daily, the report estimates that the Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP) suffered $671 million in losses in the fourth quarter of last year as a result of Israeli policies.
The report indicates that the Israeli economic siege on the occupied Palestinian territories forced the GDP down from its expected level of roughly $5.34 billion to $4.67 billion.
Meanwhile, the blockade, which has caused high rates of unemployment among Palestinian workers who formerly held jobs in Israel, has cost $182 million in lost wages, according to the report.
Other reports have estimated that unemployment in the Palestinian lands has risen to more than 40 percent, with more than 125,000 workers left jobless after they were banned from re-entering Israel since the eruption of the Palestinian uprising in September.
The UN report further says that gross national product (GNP)accordingly declined from about $6.65 billion to $5.80 million.
The authors project the Palestinian Authority's budget deficit to reach $371 million, or about 22 percent, of the total public expenditures in the year 2001 – Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)