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Monday, December 17, 2007

It's a real mystery, I tell ya

From Deutsche Presse Agency:
Ramallah - More than a quarter of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians or some 27 per cent say they cannot take current conditions any more and seek immigration, a public opinion poll published Monday has found.

The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, found that only 5 per cent of respondents gave a positive evaluation of economic conditions in the Gaza Strip and 8 per cent described conditions as good or very good.

On the other hand, 47 per cent gave a positive evaluation for economic conditions in the West Bank and only 31 per cent described conditions as good or very good.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says already bad economic and living conditions due to Israeli closure policy and restriction on movement in the Palestinian areas since late 2000, have worsened with the landslide victory of the Islamic militant group Hamas in legislative elections in January 2006 and its violent takeover of power in the Gaza Strip in June.

Addressing a conference of donors to the Palestinians in Paris on Monday, Acting Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that 'over the last seven years, the Palestinian economy has been on a continuous decline and by mid 2007 it was on the verge of collapse.'
It's really strange. In the years following Oslo, from 1993-2000, the Palestinian Arab economy was booming. Investors were lining up to build industrial parks, there was plenty of employment both in the territories and in jobs that PalArabs had in Israel itself, and there was a healthy amount of trade between the PA and Israel. Arabs were illegally moving from Jordan to the West Bank by the tens of thousands in order to grab a piece of the action.

Yet, something must have happened seven years ago to turn this around, to start this precipitous decline in the PA's economy that forces it to now admit that it is close to bankrupt and to beg for billions of dollars from the rest of the world.

For the life of me, I cannot find any news stories that describe what this event might have been seven years ago. It must be Israel's fault, of course, but what exactly happened then?

Honest Reporting UK notices this strange pattern as well.