Monday, November 2, 2009

Good News for the Palestinian Authority

As the security situation improves in Judea and Samaria with better policing by the Palestinian Authority, so the number of checkpoints come down. At this moment in time there are now only 14 permanent checkpoints. Others maybe set up on a temporary basis if there is intelligence information that there are plans to attack the Israeli citizens.

The end result of this improved situation is that according to a Bloomberg report, the GDP of the Palestinian economy in Judea and Samaria will go up by 7% this year, a figure many countries would die to achieve, according to reports from the International Monetary Fund..

Nablus Soap & Detergents Co. says its revenue has grown as much as 20 percent since Israel removed three major roadblocks in his area, making it easier for merchants from other parts of the West Bank to visit.

“We now have the possibility of finding more customers and sales have improved,” said Mojtaba Tubeileh, 41, general manager of Nablus Soap, which had 2008 revenue of about 1 million shekels ($267,000). “We are waiting for more improvement.”

The Israeli government is focusing efforts on boosting the West Bank economy and will continue easing movement restrictions. Palestinian investors say a political process must be launched to bring in the foreign investment needed to turn around an economy that, according to the World Bank, has contracted 13 percent in the eight years between 2000 and 2008.

Senior government spokesmen have stated categorically that Israel is “committed to economic peace and to focus on ways to ease the lives of Palestinians. Palestinian security forces are working better against extremists and this makes it possible to cancel more roadblocks in the future."

Israel has removed 11 checkpoints this year, including the three around Nablus in the past six months. Some 250 roads that had been completely closed have been reopened since 2007, including 100 in the last six weeks, confirmed a military spokesman. This decision to dismantle roadblocks and eliminate “a lot of bureaucratic hurdles to daily life aids economic activity in the Palestinian Authority’s areas,”

The Palestinian Prime Minister said in Ramallah on Oct. 14 that "economic growth has been led by the $1.7 billion in international donor money granted to the Palestinian Authority last year and the $1 billion donated so far this year. "

Unemployment in the area fell to 16 percent in the second quarter from 20 percent in the previous three months

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