The Israeli economy has suffered losses between 31- 40 billion Israeli shekels ($8.8 billion) as a direct result of the Palestinian intifada, which began in September 2000, according to a recent Bank of Israel report. Not including defense costs, total losses come to between 6.2 and eight percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
According to the report, the intifada was the main trigger for the recession between 2001 and 2003. The first sectors affected were agriculture and construction, losing NIS 12.2 billion from the beginning of the uprising until the end of 2001. Investments and private consumption were also considerably affected.
The decrease in GDP ranged from 3.1 percent to 3.8 percent in 2002, with one percent representing approximately five billion shekels. Due to the relative calming of the security situation in 2003, the GDP decrease was lower that year at 0.7 and 1.8 percent.
The Palestinian uprising also severely depressed trade between the occupied territories and the Jewish state. The Bank of Israel predicts that export levels from the West Bank and Gaza will not return to pre-intifada levels in the short term.
The bank also indicated that intifada-related damage to Israel's international trade was also large last year as EU member states argued that Israeli products manufactured in Jewish West Bank settlements should not enjoy the same duty-free status as products made in other parts of the country. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )