aspacpalestine.com – Geneva. The UN’s development agency said on Tuesday that a spike in Israeli settlement building and confiscations of Palestinian land, water and other resources were keeping poverty and joblessness at intolerable levels.
A sharp fall in international aid reaching the Palestinian territories due in part to Israel’s occupation also worsens humanitarian and economic crises in Gaza and the West Bank.
In a report, the agency said international donor support for Palestinian territories fell by 38 percent between 2014 and 2016, “due in part to the fact that occupation (has prevented) previous aid flows from translating into tangible development gains.”
UN chief Antonio Guterres visited Gaza in July and called the blockade “one of the most dramatic humanitarian crises” he had seen.
In its annual report two years ago, the UN agency warned that the situation was so dire that the Gaza Strip could become uninhabitable by 2020 without drastic action to rebuild the area ravaged by wars.
But rather than improvements, “the humanitarian and economic situation has instead worsened since then,” Tuesday’s report said.Denouncing a “protracted, unprecedented level of human suffering in Gaza,” it said that 80 per cent of Gaza’s population currently receives humanitarian aid, while half of inhabitants do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Palestinians have for the past 50 years of occupation faced “suppressed human potential, (leaving the) economy incapable of employing one-third of its workforce,” the report said.
“The fact that today, real GDP per capita in the (West Bank) is at the same level as in 1999 is a clear indication of the human cost and lost economic potential resulting from the occupation,” the report said. Unemployment, especially among young people, was particularly concerning, the report said.