The economy of the occupied Palestinian territories has hit an all-time low and faces unprecedented challenges due to tight Israeli occupation policies, according to a report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the leftist daily AS SAFIR reported Wednesday. The 2009 report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people stated that the damage caused to Gaza and its economy has plunged 1.5 million Palestinians into unprecedented poverty levels. The deterioration of the Palestinian economy was made worse by Israel's 22-day military onslaught on Gaza on December 27, 2008. Israel's attack killed over 1,300 Palestinians, wounded over 5,300, and caused an estimated $4 billion worth of damage.
The unemployment rate among Palestinians increased 10 percent between 1999 and 2008, reaching 32 percent, the report said, according to AS SAFIR. Nearly 60 percent of Palestinians live in poverty and the trade deficit has reached an unprecedented 79 percent. The trade deficit with Israel alone amounted to more than 140 percent of total international donor support to the Palestinians in 2008, and accounted for more than 70 percent of the overall trade deficit. The report called on the Palestinians to set a strategy to achieve sovereignty and peace in order to be in full control of their economy and political situation.
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|Title Annotation:||Today's News Highlights|
|Publication:||The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)|
|Date:||Sep 10, 2009|