Israeli occupation stunts Palestinian economic growth

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A new report suggests that Israeli occupation of the Gaza and the West Bank could be costing the Palestinian economy as much as $6.9 billion per year.

Israeli imposed restrictions are preventing Palestinians from accessing important areas of their own land and, therefore, making the most of their natural resources.

Rather worryingly, the report suggests that “had the Palestinians not been subject to Israeli occupation, their economy would have been almost double in size than it is today.”

The news comes after a recent warning over the future of the Palestinian economy in general.

Despite growth of 9.3% in Israeli occupied areas of Palestine in 2010, the UN has warned that Palestine could be facing its own economic crisis.

The report, produced by the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD), revealed that despite the growth registered last year, the 30% unemployment rate remained unchanged for the area.

The gross domestic product (GDP) for Palestine last year was said to still be 7% below what it was over ten years ago, in 1999.

The reason for the warning is that the UNCTAD report stresses that severe fiscal leakage is the cause of economic problems. This is because imported goods from Israel are not taxed and a large number of these goods are then exported to occupied Palestinian territory.

Revenue from these imports is then not passed onto the Palestinian Authority by the Israeli Authority, leading to losses. An estimated $480 million is lost per year from the Palestinian Treasury – which amounts to almost 25% of Palestine’s public revenue.

According to the report, if this fiscal leakage was rectified then the Palestinian economy would be able to grow by a further 10%, and employment levels would also be able to increase.

Transfer Money to Palestine

If you are looking to invest in Palestine, think carefully about how you wish to send money from UK to Palestine. Foreign currency exchange rates quoted by banks are almost always worse than the exchange rates available through specialist currency dealers.

So if you are looking to send money to Palestine – which you will inevitably have to do if you are looking to make a property investment, be sure to compare the market before you buy your overseas currency.

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