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U.N.: Palestine’s economy is ‘unacceptable’

Middle East | 2018-09-12 18:48:00
U.N.: Palestine’s economy is ‘unacceptable’
Palestinian citizens are trapped in an economy of jobless growth with no prospects, especially in Gaza, which is undergoing “de-development,” the United Nations trade and development agency UNCTAD said in an annual report published Wednesday. It said unemployment in the Palestinian territories was the highest in the world in 2017, at 27.4 percent, while agricultural production fell by 11 percent. Half of Palestinians under 30 were unemployed.

“Every year the situation becomes more and more unacceptable and difficult,” UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant told a news conference in Geneva, describing the economic situation as “absolutely unsustainable.”

A customs union between Israel and the Palestinian territories has isolated the Palestinian economy from the rest of the world and left it dependent on Israel, the report said.

“The major reason for this dark situation from the economic development point of view is a set of Israeli restrictions,” Mahmoud Elkhafif, coordinator of the report, said.

The Palestinian Authority last year slashed the salaries of thousands of government workers in Gaza while international support plummeted, from $2 billion in 2008 to $720 million in 2017.
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