UNCTAD report proves that Israel main obstacle to Palestinian development, says minister

RAMALLAH, The report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is proof that the Israeli occupation is the main obstacle to Palestinian economic development, said Minister of Economy Abeer Odeh on Thursday.

Under the title Economic reality in Occupied Palestinian Territory is bleaker than ever, UNCTAD’s annual report into its assistance to the Palestine people said that it came as socioeconomic conditions deteriorate and ‘de-development’ continues.

Sky-high unemployment, declining per capita income, contracting agricultural productivity and worsening socioeconomic conditions characterize a bleak assessment of the economy of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, according to the new UNCTAD annual report on its assistance to the Palestinian people, said the report, which warned that evaporating donor support, a freeze in the reconstruction of Gaza and unsustainable, credit-financed public and private consumption offer poor growth prospects as the confiscation of land and natural resources by Israel continues.

The report said Israel has failed to ease restrictions and donor support has declined steeply to one-third of its 2008 level.

In 2017 and early 2018, construction of settlements accelerated, despite United Nations General Assembly resolution A/ES-10/19 of 21 December 2017, in which the General Assembly ‘affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council’, said the report.

It highlighted evidence of incremental annexation of large parts of the West Bank that includes the transfer of Israeli population into settlements, the forcing out of the Palestinian population, investment of more than $19 billion in the construction of settlements, extending Israeli domestic legal jurisdiction to settlers and the proliferation of economic, social, political and administrative measures that deepen the integration of settlements into the Israeli State system.

Odeh said, There will be no development under occupation and therefore the international community has an obligation toward improving and developing the Palestinian economy foremost of which is putting an end to Israeli restrictions and control over our economy to facilitate investment and to benefit from our natural resources particularly in what has been designated as Area C (of the West Bank).

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency

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