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Friday, 06 December 2019

Israeli occupation costs Palestinian economy $2.5 bn a year: UN

It said the amount would have been enough to eliminate the Palestinian government's $17.7 billion budget deficit over the same period more than twice over.

AFP , Monday 2 Dec 2019
Palestinian families break their fast next to a destroyed building
Palestinian families break their fast next to a building destroyed in recent confrontations between Hamas and Israel, in the Gaza Strip on May 18, 2019 (Photo: AFP)
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Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories has cost the economy of the Palestinians more than $2.5 billion a year for the past two decades, a UN report said Monday.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report estimated the total fiscal loss to the Palestinian government between 2000 and 2017 at $47.7 billion.

The figure included $28 billion in accrued interest and $6.6 billion in leakage from Palestinian fiscal revenues.

It said the amount would have been enough to eliminate the Palestinian government's $17.7 billion budget deficit over the same period more than twice over.

The report argued if the $47 billion had been invested sensibly in the impoverished Palestinian economy, it would have created an extra two million jobs over the 18-year period, or 110,000 a year.

The report was presented at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home to the Palestinian government.

Misyef Jameel, senior researcher at MAS who worked on the report, said they only measured the direct fiscal impact.

The real figure for all loses was likely much higher, he said.

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