GENEVA, September 3, 2013 (WAFA) – “With the persistence of Israeli restrictions on mobility in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, loss of land and productive resources and bleak political prospects, gross domestic product (GDP) decelerated, and poverty and unemployment increased in 2012,” A UN report said Tuesday.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report on the Palestinian economy to be presented to the 60th Trade and Development Board meeting in Geneva on September 16 that these conditions are expected to deteriorate further.
“The Palestinian fiscal crisis deepened, owing to less aid and Israel’s withholding of Palestinian revenue, posing risks to the whole economy,” said the report in its executive summary.
“The crisis is exacerbated by the leakage of Palestinian fiscal revenues from smuggling and lost tax on imports via Israel,” it added.
According to the report, the strains on the Palestinian economy have intensified since 2012.
“GDP growth slowed to 6 per cent in 2012, down from double-digit growth in the previous two years, while unemployment soared to 27 per cent,” it said.
“Structural constraints on economic development have worsened due to the prolonged Israeli restrictions on the movement of Palestinian people and goods, the expansion of settlements, the growing inability of Palestinian producers to access their productive resources, the decline in aid flows and pervasive political and economic uncertainty,” it added.
UNCTAD warned that “economic growth is projected to decline further in the short to medium term.”