Aid is not enough to improve Palestinian economy: World Bank report

Israel Materials 5 June 2009 16:04 (UTC +04:00)

The massive aid for the Gaza Strip and West Bank has had little effect, as economic growth and development continues to be stymied by Israeli restrictions on Palestinian trade and movement, Haaretz quoted the World Bank report as saying.

"In the face of the ongoing economic restrictions imposed by the government of Israel, most of these projects have not gotten off the ground to date," the World Bank said in a report ahead of the donor countries conference.

It cited Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints hindering trade and travel, as well as restrictions on Palestinian building in the West Bank, where the Western-backed government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds sway.

The $5.2 billion promised by the donor countries at the March pledging conference in Sharm el-Sheikh has not been transferred to Gaza, and reconstruction work there following Operation Cast Lead has not begun, the report says.

Due to the growing isolation of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, residents are becoming more dependent on foreign aid, the report says.