World bank: “Gaza’s economy cannot survive without being connected to the outside world”

The World Bank has released a report on the Gaza Strip’s economic decline, in which it assessed that the situation has become too steep to be tackled by international aid alone. The 46-page report stated that “The economy (of Gaza) cannot survive without being connected to the outside world,” directly accusing Israel and Egypt of impairing the enclave’s ability to develop, due to the blockades imposed on the Hamas-run territory. The report said emphasized that “Any effort at economic recovery and development must address the impacts of the current closure regime,” yet it failed to mention the reason behind the blockades, including the use of materials imported into Gaza that have dual-use, with both civilian and military applications. That said, the report does highlight necessary preconditions for a sustained economic-recovery in Gaza, including “effective governance systems” and “institutional strengthening under the Palestinian Authority’s leadership,” which it emphasized are “key for a sustainable recovery.” Israel and Egypt did not immediately comment on the report, which came a day after they and 17 other countries attended a U.S. conference in Washington to discuss the economic situation in the Gaza Strip, which is believed to be “on the brink of economic disaster.” To better understand the situation across the Palestinian enclave, Gaza’s economic growth plummeted from 8 percent in 2016 to 0.5 percent last year, with some half of Gaza’s labor force unemployed and public health at risk, because of a rapid deterioration of basic services like water and electricity.