Not just Gaza

Cutting off aid to the Hamas-controlled PA is having a severe impact on Palestinians. The West Bank economy has been dependent on foreign aid since before the election, and the lack of aid now means that public-sector employees are not receiving wages, crushing the already fragile economy:

‘The World Bank estimates that only 12 per cent of the PA’s economic activity was ever internally generated. The rest came from outside, either through Palestinians earning wages in Israel or foreign donor support. When Yasser Arafat, then the Palestinian leader, launched the armed intifada in late 2000, Israel closed the checkpoints to the occupied territories, reducing the income from foreign earnings to a trickle. By the time Hamas won power in January’s general election, the PA was in debt to the tune of £451 million.’

Border closures that prevent Palestinians living in the West Bank from getting to their jobs in Jerusalem are also taking their toll, and have now sparked protest from the UN Relief and Works Agency:

‘Anders Fange, director of operations in the West Bank of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East … said: “I do understand the Israeli security considerations but the government of Israel should also live up to its obligations under international law to allow freedom of movement for U.N. personnel. This recent development impedes our work capacity at a time of increased need.”‘

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