Economy and Living Standards of Gaza ‘Eviscerated’ by Crippling Blockade – UN Trade and Development Report
12 Sep 2018 – The Occupied Palestinian Territory now suffers the highest unemployment rate in the world, with incomes and agricultural production going down, the United Nations trade and development agency said today, noting that women and young people were worst affected, as the Israeli occupation continues.
“With the blockade now in its eleventh year, the Gaza Strip has been reduced to a humanitarian case of profound suffering and aid dependency,” said the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in a news release announcing its findings.
“The productive capacity of Gaza has been eviscerated by three major military operations and a crippling air, sea and land blockade,” it added.
In its report on assistance to the Palestinian people, the UN agency also warned of poor growth prospects due to lessening donor support; a freeze in the reconstruction of Gaza; and unsustainable, credit-financed public and private consumption.
It also noted that the longstanding electricity crisis in Gaza worsened with households receiving, on average, two hours of electricity a day in early 2018 and power shortages seriously impacting everyday life and interrupting the delivery of basic services.
“The enduring deprivation of basic economic, social and human rights inflicts a heavy toll on Gaza’s psychological and social fabric, as manifested by the widespread incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder and high suicide rates,” said UNCTAD, noting that in 2017, 225,000 children – more than 10 per cent of the total population – required psychosocial support.
The report also noted that construction of settlements accelerated in 2017 and early 2018 and highlighted evidence of “incremental annexation” of large parts of the West Bank, which included the transfer of Israeli citizens into settlements, forcing out Palestinians.
It further noted that a customs union – established in 1967 and formalized in 1994 – under which free trade prevails between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, is inherently flawed because of the structural differences between the two economies and their vastly different levels of economic development.
According to the report, the outcomes are made worse due to a lack of cooperation and the fact that Israel sets the terms and conditions of how the union operates.
“Effectively, the Occupied Palestinian Territory is isolated from the more competitive global markets, which in turn fosters an extremely high level of a trade diversion towards Israel, the report says,” said UNCTAD.
To break the cycle of dispossession and backwards development, the report called for replacing the union with a new framework that guarantees the Palestinian National Authority full control over its customs territory, borders and trade and industrial policies.
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
- Amnesty International Shutters Offices in India, Citing Government Attacks
- Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Thousands Stranded in Bay of Bengal ‘Unable to Come Ashore'
- Can a Virus Undermine Human Rights?
PALESTINE - ISRAEL:
- The Palestinian Struggle Betrayed
- Richard Falk: Palestinians Are Winning the ‘Legitimacy War’
- UAE/Bahrain Normalization with Israel: Peace or Geopolitics?