RAMALLAH, Sept. 15 (JMCC) - The Palestinian economy has undergone tremendous growth in the West Bank
and Gaza Strip
in the first half of 2010, according to the International Monetary Fund.
At 9 percent in the West Bank and 16 percent in the Gaza Strip is experiencing heavy growth due to relaxation of control by the Israeli military in both territories.
However, the numbers are not without some caveats. Experts say that economic growth in the West Bank is conditional on a number of key issues, including a breakthrough in the diplomatic effort to achieve a two-state solution.
Furthermore, the Gaza Strip has simply been experiencing a surge in consumer purchasing as a result of a slight relaxation in a three year embargo on the coastal territory.
...The Gaza economy expanded about 16 percent during the same period, boosted by Israel’s relaxation of restrictions on imports, Oussama Kanaan, the organization’s chief of mission in the West Bank and Gaza, said today. The West Bank and Gaza are heading for 8 percent growth this year, up from 7.2 percent in the West Bank in 2009, and 5.4 percent in Gaza, Kanaan said.Read
“For growth to be sustained, it is essential that the remaining restrictions on economic activity be lifted,” Kanaan said. “Gaza’s recovery will wane unless the ban on exports and on imports of private-sector capital inputs is removed. Similarly, the West Bank’s growth is bound to slow with the persistence of restrictions on movement and access.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lifted roadblocks across the West Bank in an effort to promote Palestinian economic growth. Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who started peace negotiations in Washington on Sept. 2, met for a second round today at the resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. Israel says the roadblocks were necessary to stop attacks by militants...
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