Monday, April 11, 2011

Palestinian Economic Boom in 2010

From a Report of the Government of Israel to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee - April 2011

In 2010, the Palestinian economy continued to grow at a quick pace, with economic growth reaching 9.3%, due to a very quick recovery of the Gaza economy (15%), accompanied by continued growth of the West Bank economy (8% ). The PA's GDP in 2010 amounted to USD 5,728 million, and the GDP per capita increased by 6.1%, in comparison to the previous year. Israeli policy in the West Bank and Gaza contributed significantly to this growth. Increased Palestinian sales to Israel, a higher volume of commercial goods shipped from the West Bank via the land crossings to Israel and abroad, growing numbers of tourists visiting the West Bank, and increased construction, are all additional indications of the growth of the Palestinian economy.

Additionally, Israel has approved 121 projects led by the international community:

Widespread construction has already begun and building materials transferred to their allotted locations in the Gaza Strip. These projects include the building of 800 new homes in Rafah, Khan Yunis and Gaza city, and 33 educational projects under which 20 new schools will be built and funded by UNRWA. A total of 1,000 farms will start growing food to alleviate daily needs and improve their financial situation, for which advanced farming equipment has been donated.

In addition, 14 projects will improve medical infrastructures and four new medical centers will be built. Existing wards will also be upgraded. Sanitation levels will improve as well, with five sewage treatment centers. Twenty-eight projects dealing with water and water sanitation and two comprehensive electricity projects will also be undertaken.

In order to fund these projects, the Gaza Strip’s economy will be bolstered. Some projects will take a number of years to be completed and many tons of construction material are scheduled to enter the Gaza Strip. TheDCL and international organizations will keep track of their movement to ensure that terrorist organizations do not use them to build bunkers for their operatives, for example.

Many buildings damaged by IDF activities have been rebuilt lately. The flour mill Sa Al-Bader, for example, damaged by tank fire during Operation Cast Lead (IDF soldiers were fired at intensively by Hamas operatives stationed in the flour mill’s vicinity, and shot toward it in response), was rebuilt a few months ago.

All this stands in stark contrast to the International Solidarity Movement's claim made earlier this month that "Israel’s siege has made rebuilding bombed structures virtually impossible". The ISM has also claimed "Israel also prohibits Gazans from producing their own food.", yet advanced farming equipment has been donated to a total of 1,000 farms will start growing food for Gaza.

Have we all realized by now that the the ISM lies?

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