(GPA) New York – The United Nations Country team in Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has released a report stating that the biggest hindrance to the economy of Palestine is the Israeli occupation.
The 180 page report, titled “Leave No One Behind: A Perspective on Vulnerability and Structural Disadvantage in Palestine” details the constraints placed on the most vulnerable and poorest parts of Palestine directly affected by the Israeli occupation.
Some of the main drivers behind the hindrance of Palestinian development are of course some of the most notorious policies of the Israeli settler state growing in the territory. This includes the settlements in the notorious “zone C” where settlements deemed illegal by international standards are, these are some of the same settlements that Israel looks to retroactively legalize through their legislature.
The report also covers how political violence, mostly initiated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is a major contributor to vulnerability. Beyond the violence there is also details of how Palestinians aren’t presented equal economic opportunity and are also victims of environmental factors such as limited access to crucial resources like clean water (often rationed by the hour by Israeli authorities).
This of course follows a previous report released in September by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) that estimated that “without the occupation”, Palestine’s gross domestic product (GDP) would “easily double.” That report showed how Israel had essentially made their own monopoly on Palestinian markets by withholding Palestinian funds and aid as well as making favorable conditions for Israeli products to dominate the local market.
This is just another confirmation by the United Nations that Israel is doing irreversible damage to Palestine. Palestine has potential to be self sufficient, but the longer the settlements and economic dominance by Israel continues the harder this will be. If even the Western dominated UN can see the writing on the wall, then what will it take for the international community to actually do something about this injustice they’ve helped manifest?