World Bulletin / News Desk
The Palestinian economy in the West Bank has decreased in the first half of 2013, according to a report by the World Bank.
The World Bank report claims that restrictions placed on the Palestinian Authority by Israel and a cut in foreign aid is to blame for the 0.1% contraction. The cut in foreign aid could be explained by a general economic crisis around the world, as well as the Arab Spring which has been distracting donors in the Arabian Gulf.
This is the first time the Palestinian economy has shrunk in a decade, which has passed relatively peacefully. However, it is not clear whether this drop is a cause or consequence of growing unrest.
The report mentioned an area in the West Bank known as Area C, which is currently under Israeli occupation. If Palestinians could exploit the resources in that area, their economy could grow by a third. Israel has already established many illegal settlements in the area.
In a statement, the World Bank declared: "The manner in which Area C is currently administered virtually precludes Palestinian businesses from investing there. Since Area C is where the majority of the West Bank's natural resources lie, the impact of these restrictions on the Palestinian economy has been considerable." It further added that if Palestinians could be allowed access to Area C, $3.4 billion could be added to the economy.
Recent fighting in the West Bank has resulted in the death of 15 Palestinians and many arrests across the region.
Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2013, 18:10