World Economy

Palestinians Poorer

Palestinians PoorerPalestinians Poorer

As Palestinians welcome the raising of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations as a symbol of an emerging state, the economic news from the West Bank and Gaza Strip was troubling. For the third year in a row, Palestinians are getting poorer, according to a new report by the World Bank. The report blames reduced aid from the international community, suspension of revenue payments that Israel illegally collects instead of the Palestinian Authority, and the ongoing restrictions by Israel. “The key point is that the current situation is not sustainable,” Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank Country Director for the West Bank and Gaza told The Media Line. “This is a recipe for a crisis about to happen, and even though there is no political horizon for a peace deal, a lot can be done.” In the Gaza Strip, there has been almost no reconstruction of the thousands of homes destroyed and damaged during last summer’s assault by the Israelis. Donors in Cairo promised $3.5 billion to help rebuild Gaza, but just over one-third of that has come through.