Just how much has the Palestinian’s resistance to Israeli rule cost them since the start of the second intifade in 2000? The World Bank has just issued a report, and it makes for a dire picture. For Muhammed Jader, who lives in Gaza’s Shaati refugee camp, this is not news;
“There is no work, no income, the situation is difficult and known to everyone”, he said.
Closures and curfews have strangled economic life in the occupied territories,raising transport and production costs, and isolating markets. Nearly half the population scrapes by on less than one euro 50 a day.
In five years all the key indicators, GDP
, unemployment, and poverty, have dramatically worsened, so now one point seven million Palestinians are below the World Bank’s poverty line, and a third of those are under the even stricter subsistence line deemed enough to meet basic nutritional needs.
Bank economist John Witter says growth will only return when the private sector can resume trade on international markets, and that can only come if restrictions on free movement are lifted. For example, 1000 Gazans are allowed into Israel to work today. Four years ago, 30 000 commuted.