Thursday, November 17, 2011

The real cost of Israel's occupation of the Palestinians

Palestinians are losing out on some $6.9 billion a year, a study shows, as restrictions on water use, resources and imports exact their toll.

The Israeli occupation is exacting a high price on the Palestinian economy, according to a report by the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy and the Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem - which puts the damage at $6.9 billion a year - what it calls a conservative estimate. The figure is about 85% of the Palestinian GDP for 2010, $8.124 billion.

The calculation includes the suspension of economic activity in the Gaza Strip because of Israel's blockade, the prevention of income from the natural resources Israel is exploiting because of its direct control over most of the territory and the additional costs for the Palestinian expenses due to restrictions on movement, use of land and production imposed by Israel. The introduction to the report states that the blocking of Palestinian economic development derives from the colonialist tendency of the Israeli occupation ever since 1967: exploitation of natural resources coupled with a desire to keep the Palestinian economy from competing with the Israeli one. More