World Bank warns that Gaza’s economy may fail if blockade not lifted

World Bank warns that Gaza’s economy may fail if blockade not lifted

The World Bank will submit a report in Brussels today calling to ease trade restrictions into the aid-dependent Palestinian territory

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Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90

The World Bank will submit a report in Brussels today calling to ease trade restrictions into the aid-dependent Palestinian territory of Gaza to save it from economic collapse. The latest UN report from July 2017 indicated that Gaza was on track to be “unlivable” by 2020 given the extensive infrastructure and housing damage.

The governance of Gaza is also uncertain. A key part of a recent intra-Palestinian peace deal was for Hamas to the hand over control of Gaza to their political rival, Fatah. On Tuesday, Fatah’s Rami Hamdallah, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), was subject to an assassination attempt. No group has taken responsibility although Fatah blame Hamas, who blames Israel. Splinter groups opposed to the Fatah-Hamas unity agreement are also suspected.

Israel is not likely to lift their border restrictions on trade, and it refuses to deal with the PA if Hamas is involved. Egypt only controls a small part of the border at Rafah; Israel controls the rest. Therefore, the future for Gaza’s economic development likely rests on whether the PA is persuaded to entertain the US proposal of “special projects” or if Arab donor funding for infrastructure projects is presented to the Brussels meeting today.

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