Israel’s occupation of Palestine has cost the economy of the Palestinians more than $2.5 billion a year for the past two decades, a UN report said Monday.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report estimated the total fiscal loss to the Palestinian government between 2000 and 2017 at $47.7 billion.
The figure included $28 billion in accrued interest and $6.6 billion in leakage from Palestinian fiscal revenues.
The report was presented at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home to the Palestinian government
It said the amount would have been enough to eliminate the Palestinian government’s $17.7 billion budget deficit over the same period more than twice over.
The report argued if the $47 billion had been invested sensibly in the impoverished Palestinian economy, it would have created an extra two million jobs over the 18-year period, or 110,000 a year.
The report was presented at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute (MAS) in the West Bank city of Ramallah, home to the Palestinian government.
Misyef Jameel, senior researcher at MAS who worked on the report, said they only measured the direct fiscal impact.
The real figure for all loses was likely much higher, he said.
Studies have suggested that the Palestinian economy could be twice its current size, had the occupation not occurred. There is a need to establish within the United Nations system a systematic, evidence-based, comprehensive and sustainable framework for estimating the economic costs of the occupation and to report on the results to the General Assembly, not only to fulfil the request contained in resolution 69/20, but also to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk.