Economy

Dutch company involved in construction of the Wall


Research undertaken by United Civilians for Peace, a Dutch NGO-platform dedicated to promoting justice and peace in Palestine and Israel, has revealed that Dutch company Lima Holding BV, inSpijkenisse, is involved in the construction of the illegal Wall that Israel is building in the occupied West Bank. Lima Holding, which operates in Israel under the Riwal brand name, provides mobile cranes for putting into place the up to 9-metres high concrete elements that make up the Wall. The exact scope and nature of the company’s involvement in the construction of the Wall is yet to be determined. 

Palestinian agricultural losses top US $1 billion


An ongoing economic boycott and intermittent border closures have created humanitarian problems for Gaza’s residents, including a deteriorating agricultural sector, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority (PA) said. The PA’s Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed al-Agha, told IRIN that “Israel’s security measures had cost Palestinian farmers thousands of acres of farmland and nearly US $1.2 billion since the start of the second intifada [Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation] in September 2000.” Israel says it was necessary to clear land to prevent cross-border terrorist attacks. 

Fishermen suffer naval restrictions


As some Palestinian fishermen were heading towards the sea for their daily fishing trips, 25-year-old Shadi Bakr waited anxiously at the pier for a boat owner to hire him for the day. Bakr’s own boat was destroyed by the Israeli navy five weeks ago. “I used to have my own motorboat. Now, I work as a day fisherman after Israeli gunboats destroyed it recently,” Bakr said. “My boat was worth US $8,000, and I used to make $300 a week, but now I only make $3 or $4 a day, which is not enough even to buy bread and salt for my family,” he added. Bakr’s boat was a victim of Israeli restrictions on Palestinians fishing off the Gaza Strip coastline. 

Intensified Aid And Urgent Action Needed To Avert Palestinian Economic Collapse


The economy of the occupied Palestinian territory is on the verge of collapse, a new UNCTAD report warns. Dwindling donor support has left the Palestinian Authority (PA) in a perilous financial position and UNCTAD projections indicate that per capita income for 2006 will be half pre-2000 levels, unemployment will affect half the Palestinian workforce by the end of the year, and two out of three Palestinian households will fall below the poverty level. The report cautions that even under a more positive scenario of increased aid, greater mobility, and the resumption of Israeli transfers of tax revenues to the PA, the Palestinian economy is unlikely to achieve sustained growth. 

Profiting from the Occupation: The corporate interests fuelling conflict in Palestine


We hear little from the Palestinian Occupied Territories other than endless death, destruction, poverty and despair. While living standards plummet and the death toll rockets, it’s difficult to imagine a less likely place to make a profit. But despite the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding, and the international attention it receives, names familiar on high streets across Europe and the US are actively supporting Israel’s Occupation of Palestine through their business practices – threatening to prolong the misery of the Palestinian people for many years to come. 

Why It Rains: Hamas holding “Israeli” gas reserves hostage


An unexpected energy windfall on Israel’s doorstep promises to resolve Israel’s energy security concerns for years to come. Unfortunately for Israek, it is the Palestinian Authority that controls the licensing of these reserves. So, as Operation Summer Rains washes away the administrative and political structures in the occupied territories, has Israel decided to use Hamas as an excuse to dismantle the PA and seize its energy assets? After the Iranian Revolution cut-off energy supplies in 1979, and the loss of Sinai’s oil in 1982, Israel became dependent on expensive, long-distance energy imports. 

Difficult conditions for Palestinian economy can be overcome, study finds


Deteriorating economic performance and declining living conditions under more intensive restrictions in the occupied Palestinian territory since 2000 have left Palestinians frustrated by higher levels of poverty and unemployment and have damaged the already weak government of the Palestinian Authority (PA), a new UNCTAD study reveals. The study notes that under the Israeli occupation “the institutionalization of restrictive measures, in the context of what my be termed a policy of asymmetric containment, has inflicted a heavy toll on the economy” and has locked it in an “adverse path dependence”. A long-term relief strategy for the Palestinian economy is needed, and it is this that may be viewed as non-distorting aid. 

Palestinian Laborers on the Israeli Separation Wall


As the political and military conflict between Palestinians and Israelis wages on, it is the average citizen who has been besieged by harsh realities that have made survival all too difficult. One faction of people who have been left to clamor for economic endurance is the Palestinian laborers. The hardships faced under occupation, systemic closures, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) history of corruption, and lack of employment opportunities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) have led many to seek employment on the Israeli Separation Wall. 

Poverty in the Gaza Strip


The conditions in the OPT has exacerbated the humanitarian situation for Palestinian civilians. Unemployment and poverty rates have increased dramatically. The rate of unemployment is 34% in the OPT as a whole and 44% in the Gaza Strip. This rate rises to 55% during times of complete closure imposed by Israeli Occupation Forces. Likewise, the poverty rate in the OPT is nearly 50%, with the Gaza Strip rate at approximately 70%. This in turn has impacted the per capita income, which decreased by 32% over the past three years, and is actually 40% lower today than it was three years ago. On the economic front, the gross national product decreased to dangerous levels, threatening the agricultural, industrial, commerce, transportation and tourism sectors. 

Palestine: Making a Bad Situation Worse


With Hamas in control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) government, and Western donors are halting all direct aid to it, an already precarious humanitarian situation in the West Bank and Gaza could potentially turn worse. Virtually bankrupt, the PA needs $120 million a month to pay its staff, and an additional $40 million for continued minimum basic services to its constituency. With Israel suspending the transfer of $60 million a month in Palestinian customs receipts, the $35 million the PA collects each month in domestic revenues are not enough to keep it afloat. 

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