World Bank Tells Donors: Gaza Economy in Free-Fall
The World Bank said on Tuesday that at Thursday’s meeting of nations that provide economic support to the Palestinians, donor nations will be told the economy of the Gaza Strip is in “free-fall.” The primary contributing factors that will be cited are the Israeli blockade of Gaza, aid cuts and unpaid salaries. On the same day, both Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will make their annual speeches to the United Nations General Assembly. Both leaders figure heavily into Gaza’s financial woes, Israel having slapped a boycott on the enclave after it was wrestled from Fatah/Palestinian Authority control by the Hamas faction in 2007, and Abbas imposing his own sanctions on the Gazan citizenry in an attempt to encourage the populace to overthrow its rulers which, according to the U.S., Israel and Europeans are a terrorist organization. The bank claims the Gaza unemployment rate is 53% and fifty per cent of the population lives below the poverty level.