3 Observations on the Palestinian Economy

Palestinian presidential elections are approaching. As usual, in order to cover up the national divisions, attention is often diverted to the poor economic conditions engulfing the Palestinian territories, and why Israel must be to blame for all that is wrong

1) The World Bank in September 2008 produced yet another report on the Palestinian economy. It has reduced 30% since the Intifada broke out. Unemployment is at 30%. And to paraphrase a 122 page document, the way to growth lies through increased aid and fewer Israeli roadblocks. Yes?

Well, it sounds politically correct. However, in the words of the bank’s own former regional expert, Nigel Roberts, the Palestinians have received more aid per capita than any other population. And this investment has neither done the job nor has it all been accountable.

As for roadblocks, the 2008 report confirms that the economy had grown at 6% per year for the 6 years up to 2000 and the beginning of the violent Intifada against Israel. The true logic demands that Hamas and Fatah stop its war against Jerusalem, which would then enable Olmert and co to get rid of the security measures and thus significantly increase the welfare of Gaza and Ramallah.

2) The World Bank produces a report on the Palestinians almost once in 9 months. How many does it hand out on Somalia? The pressure group, Human Rights Watch has just labelled that country as “the most ignored tragedy in the world today”. You have to wonder what motivates the world to concentrate on the Palestinians, investing heavily in resources which disappear, as millions others are forgotten and abandoned around the world.

3) 5 times a week, about 90 trucks of food, clothing, medical materials and other necessities reach Gaza from Israel. In parallel, it is now emerging that Gaza is responsible for vast sums of money entering Muslim charities inside Israel proper. Poverty may be a clever piece of spin in the war against Israel, but its hypocrisy is becoming dangerously exposed.

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One Comment on “3 Observations on the Palestinian Economy”


  1. I’ve been reading along for a while now. I just wanted to drop you a comment to say keep up the good work.


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