Visit our new website:

World Bank report warns Gaza Strip economy is in ‘free fall’

  • Tue, 25 Sep 2018 18:12
Tue, 2018-09-25 (All day)

JERUSALEM: The Gaza Strip’s economy is in “free fall,” a report from the World Bank warned Tuesday, calling for urgent action by Israel and the international community to avoid “immediate collapse.”
According to the report, Gaza’s economy contracted by 6 percent in the first quarter of 2018. It said unemployment is now over 50 percent — and over 70 percent among Gaza’s youth.
The World Bank cited various factors, starting with Israel’s decade-long blockade against the territory’s militant Hamas rulers, for the precarious downturn. It also cited budget cuts by the rival Palestinian Authority and a reduction in international aid to the Palestinians, particularly from the United States.
“A combination of war, isolation, and internal rivalries has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress,” said Marina Wes, the World Bank’s director for the region.
The report was released ahead of a high-level meeting of the bank’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, responsible for coordinating development assistance to the Palestinians, on September 27.
Wes said the increasingly dire economic situation in Gaza “has reached a critical point.”
“Increased frustration is feeding into the increased tensions which have already started spilling over into unrest and set back the human development of the region’s large youth population,” she added.
Gazans have staged near weekly demonstrations along the border with Israel since late March, in part to protest the blockade enforced by Israel and Egypt since 2007, when the militant group Hamas seized the territory. Hamas has led and organized the protests, but turnout has also been driven by growing despair over blockade-linked hardship, including lengthy power cuts and soaring unemployment.
Israeli soldiers have killed at least 136 Palestinians during the weekly protests since March, including 27 minors, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. A Palestinian sniper also fatally shot an Israeli soldier. Israel contends it’s defending its border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as a screen for attempts to breach the border fence to attack civilians and soldiers. Human rights groups have accused Israel of excessive and unlawful use of force against unarmed protesters.
In the report, the World Bank calls upon Israel to lift restrictions on trade and movement of goods and people to help improve Gaza’s economy, and urges development of “legitimate institutions to govern Gaza in a transparent and efficient manner.”

Main category: 
Gaza running out of fuel, medicine — UNGaza staff at UN agency for Palestinians strike over job cuts Middle-East


US Weekly

Related Stories

Iran issues new threat to world over nuclear deal
  • Mon, 29 Jul 2019 15:27

Mon, 2019-07-29 03:02 VIENNA: Iran on Sunday renewed threats to boost its nuclear program unless world powers rescue the collapsing 2015 deal to curb...

7 Israeli teens freed after woman recants Cyprus rape report
  • Mon, 29 Jul 2019 14:27

Author: APID: 1564367325347336200Sun, 2019-07-28 19:02 PARALIMNI, Cyprus: Seven Israeli teenagers were freed from custody in Cyprus on Sund...

Iran says breaks up CIA spy ring, some sentenced to death: report
  • Mon, 22 Jul 2019 21:38

Mon, 2019-07-22 09:29 DUBAI: Iran has captured 17 spies working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and some have been sentenced to death, I...

Myanmar’s temple city Bagan awarded UNESCO World Heritage status
  • Sat, 06 Jul 2019 22:19

Author: ReutersID: 1562421801722430800Sat, 2019-07-06 13:51 YANGON: UNESCO inscribed Myanmar’s ancient capital of Bagan as a World Herita...

UNESCO lists Iraq's Babylon as World Heritage Site
  • Sat, 06 Jul 2019 00:41

Fri, 2019-07-05 16:57 BAGHDAD: UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee voted on Friday to list the sprawling Mesopotamian metropolis of Babylon as a Wor...

Iran warns it will increase nuclear enrichment within days
  • Wed, 03 Jul 2019 15:50

Author: APID: 1562140132004857000Wed, 2019-07-03 07:46 TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s president warned European partners in its faltering nuclear d...

Macron warns Tehran against further breaches
  • Tue, 02 Jul 2019 23:33

Author: ReutersID: 1562077796708117800Tue, 2019-07-02 14:04PARIS/DUBAI, July 2 : France urged Iran on Tuesday to reverse its first major bre...

Alabama woman charged in fetal death, her shooter goes free
  • Sun, 30 Jun 2019 11:33

Author: APID: 1561766868179798100Fri, 2019-06-28 22:36 MONTGOMERY, Alabama: An Alabama district attorney’s office hasn’t decided whethe...

China warns of ‘severe threats’ to global order at G20
  • Fri, 28 Jun 2019 14:38

Author: AFPID: 1561692973681081500Fri, 2019-06-28 03:33 OSAKA: China warned on Friday that protectionism and “bullying” were threatenin...

Genius or joker? British PM favorite Johnson set to face the world
  • Thu, 27 Jun 2019 23:05

Author: ReutersID: 1561615468831692000Thu, 2019-06-27 06:00 LONDON: Loose cannon or influential statesman — what kind of British prime mi...

‘Arab world needs heroes like Salah and Malek,’ Bahrain workshop told
  • Thu, 27 Jun 2019 08:53

Thu, 2019-06-27 00:34 MANAMA: The Arab world needs heroes, and football and the film industry can help provide them, the US-led “Peace to Prosperit...

Life at a Rohingya camp: An Arab News report
  • Sat, 22 Jun 2019 02:16

Author: Shehab SumonID: 1561132843244132700Fri, 2019-06-21 19:00 DHAKA, Bangladesh: It was in the evening of June 18 in Dhaka that I receiv...