Occupation costs Palestine $4.4bn per yr

Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has deprived the Palestinian economy of an estimated USD 4.4 billion a year, a report says.

The report released by the PA on Thursday, showed that the Palestinian economy could have been nearly twice as large had it not been illegally occupied, Ma’an News Agency reported.

“No matter what the Palestinian people achieve by our own efforts, the occupation prevents us achieving our potential as a free people in our own country,” said Hasan Abu Libdeh, the Palestinian Authority (PA) Economy Minister.

The economy ministry further said that much of the data was supported by findings from the World Bank as well as the International Monetary Fund.

The current losses amount to some 85 percent of the current Palestinian GDP.

“The majority of these costs do not have any relationship with security concerns but, rather, come from the heavy restrictions imposed on the Palestinians in the access to their own natural resources, many of which are exploited by Israel itself, including water, minerals, salts, stones and land,” the report said.

The PA added that the economic loss it suffers under the occupation was one of the reasons it had applied for UN’s recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

Acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas officially submitted his bid for UN recognition of a Palestinian state to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 23.

(www.presstv.ir / 30.09.2011)

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