The Palestinian economy has lost $1.15 billion since the outbreak of deadly violence across the region in late September, the United Nations said Tuesday, February 13, denouncing Israel's crippling blockade on the territories.
"The closure policy has been colossally counter-productive: detrimental to Israel's legitimate security interests and very damaging to the Palestinian economy and society," UN special coordinator for the Middle East Terje Roed-Larsen said in a report.
He said the economy had suffered a total of $1.15 billion in losses in terms of gross domestic product and labor income, 20 percent of the projected GDP for 2000. Roed-Larsen's report also cited a World Bank study that said poverty rates have increased by 50 percent since the uprising began, putting 32 percent of the Palestinian population under the poverty line.
Israel has imposed harsh economic sanctions against the Palestinians in an effort to contain the revolt—blocking roads connecting Palestinian-run towns and cities and denying workers entry into Israel. The report added that caring for 11,000 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israelis was also a drain on the economy. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )