World Bank: Israeli restrictions have dire impacts on Palestinians
The World Bank warns that "Israel's" restrictions and fiscal constraints are exacerbating poverty and impeding access to critical healthcare in Palestinian territories
In a recent report titled "Racing Against Time," the World Bank has shed light on the deteriorating economic conditions in the Palestinian territories, attributing the decline to "Israel's" restrictions and increasing fiscal constraints.
The report, published on Monday, paints a grim picture of the Palestinian economy, with per capita income stagnating and poverty being on the rise.
According to the World Bank, one in every four Palestinians is currently living below the poverty line, reflecting the alarming economic hardship faced by many in the region.
The World Bank identified a range of factors contributing to the economic challenges, including "Israel's" stringent restrictions on movement and trade in the occupied West Bank, the longstanding blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, and the division between the two Palestinian territories.
Stefan Emblad, the World Bank's director for the West Bank and Gaza, expressed deep concern over the fiscal constraints that are significantly impacting the Palestinian healthcare system. He noted that these constraints are hampering the system's ability to cope with the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.
Emblad highlighted the challenges posed by "Israel's" restrictions, including a complex and bureaucratic permit system, which often results in delays in providing life-saving healthcare to Palestinians.
Access to outside medical referrals for critical conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and maternal and childbirth complications has been severely affected due to both physical and administrative barriers.
The report underscores the critical situation in Gaza, where the healthcare system's limited capacity exacerbates the difficulties faced by patients seeking timely medical care. The near-blockade of Gaza has even led to increased mortality rates, as some patients do not survive the lengthy permit application process.
The World Bank's report concludes that the Palestinian economy has stagnated for the past five years and warns that meaningful improvements are unlikely without fundamental changes in the existing policies and conditions on the ground. As population growth continues, per capita income is projected to remain stagnant, further deepening the economic challenges faced by Palestinians.
The findings of this report underscore the pressing need for international efforts to address the economic and healthcare challenges facing Palestinians in the region.