Prospects for Palestinian economic growth poor, as third man sets himself on fire
The UN Conference for Trade and Development has branded Palestinian economic growth “more unattainable” from 2011 onwards than ever before.
In a report published yesterday, UNCTAD blamed the chronic fiscal crisis on decreasing freedom of movement, faltering aid flows and what it termed a “paralysed” private sector.
The report stated that settlement and Israeli military activity among other factors meant the West Bank lost 40 per cent of its land, 82 per cent of its ground water and more than 60 per cent of its grazing land. It also detailed how in Gaza, over 50 per cent of usable farmland and 85 per cent of fishing resources are inaccessible.
It also branded recent growth in Gaza as “unsustainable”, and stated that high unemployment continues to contribute to poverty, with 50 per cent of Palestinians classified as poor.
As the Palestinian Authority struggles to pay its own civil servants, the report labelled any reduction in spending as counterproductive.
The damning report comes as the third man in a week attempted to set himself on fire in protest at the high cost of living in the Palestinian Territories.
Hasan Qahwaji was stopped by onlookers in central Ramallah as he tried to set alight to himself and his six year old daughter, who suffers from cancer. He stated afterwards that he is unable to pay for the cost of her treatment.