Israeli Restrictions Cost Palestinian Economy Billions

Focus on West Bank

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Israeli restrictions in the West Bank cost the Palestinian economy more than $3.4 billion per year, according to a new report.

The report by the World Bank, released Tuesday, focuses on Palestinian economic potential in what’s referred to as Area C of the West Bank, a large amount of territory — almost a third of the West Bank — which remains under complete Israeli control and contains a high concentration of military checkpoints. Increasing Palestinian access to lands in the West Bank could boost the GDP by 35 percent, create additional annual revenue of $800 million for the governing Palestinian Authority, cut its deficit in half and reduce reliance on foreign aid, according to the report.

A top Israeli official responded to the report by saying that the World Bank is pinning the blame on Israel and ignoring the adverse economic effects of the Palestinian Authority’s own corruption issues.