Palestinian economics – recent updates

The world economic slowdown has kept the Palestinian economy off the front pages of world media. Sure, the “Free Gaza” campaign has sent in a few boats to highlight how they see that Israel is to blame for all the poverty of the Palestinians.

The facts on the ground indicate a more intricate set of issues.

One such story is the olive harvest, worth an estimated US$140 million to Palestinian farmers. Over the past few months, there had been concerns that Israeli military movement would hinder the harvest. But to quote an army  spokesperson:

As a part of preparations for this year’s harvest, meetings were held between Israel’s Civil Administration and Palestinian counterparts. The meetings included representatives of the various villages, as well as important figures from the Palestinian Authority (PA) including the PA Olive Oil Department…”

The statement continued: “The harvest has yielded approximately 24,000 tons of olive oil, compared to last year’s 8000 ton yield. 114,000 tons of olives were harvested (compared to 41,000 tons last year), 7,000 of which will be pickled and 107,000 tons are designated for production of olive oil. An estimated 7,000 tons of the olive oil produced will be marketed in Israel.”

On the downside are trends in Palestinian society, which do not enhance economic development. A press release form Hamas on November 5th referred to the proposed “noble Islamic religious law”. This will impact directly on the banking system, employment laws, contracts and other areas of commerce.

This legislation will directly contradict the reforms demanded by the IMF and The Quartet. It has to be noted that a few of these changes have already been implemented by Fayyad, the Prime Minister under President Abbas. Fayyad, a banker with an international reputation, has been consistently ignored and rejected by Hamas.

The law coincides with the continuing decline in basic freedoms, as reported by the Palestinian NGO, the Independent Commission for Human Rights. It is not not just the arbitrary arrests or unwarranted attacks on private property. In October, the Commission received 70 separate complaints from teachers being dismissed by the Palestinian Ministry of Education because of their private political views. 

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2 Comments on “Palestinian economics – recent updates”

  1. Michael Horesh Says:

    For an analysis as to how smuggling is boosting Gaza’s economy, see the report by Khaled Abu Toameh at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1226404731018&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  2. Janet Clifford Says:

    I had great fun with Lauren Booth in Gaza comparing it with a concentration camp here is a selection of photos taken when she was unaware of a camera.

    Janet

    Speaks on her mobile phone in Gaza City on September 3, 2008. Booth said she was trapped in Gaza as Israel refused to let her leave Palestinian territory she entered aboard a protest boat.

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/0gtydNr3679Lr/Lauren_Booth

    ————————————————————————

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/025m61w6uSbhP/Lauren_Booth

    leaves a grocery store in Gaza City

    ———————————————————————————–

    http://www.daylife.com/topic/Lauren_Booth

    —————————————————————————————-

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/pollak/25632

    This genius apparently set out for Hamastan without bothering to figure out how she would be able to leave, and now the swashbuckler of the Mediterranean and the scourge of the Israeli Navy stamps her feet and demands to depart through “the proper channels.” A selfless defender of Palestine! If only Rachel Corrie were here to meet her soul mate.

    Booth said diplomatic efforts were still being made to permit her to leave. “Thanks to Israel for letting us feel a real taste of Gazan life,” she added.

    A “real taste of Gazan life” is the last thing in the world this coddled charlatan would ever actually want to experience, or ever will experience, because real life in Gaza entails being beaten by Hamas when you speak truth to power. Radical Chic remains as deliciously entertaining as it was when Tom Wolfe walked into Leonard Bernstein’s duplex in 1970.


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