Palestinian economy contracts by 35% in first quarter of 2024 amid war

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) reports that the overall Palestinian GDP has contracted by 35% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period of last year, with a marked difference between the West Bank (-25%) and the Gaza Strip (-86%).

The GDP over the first three months of 2024 stands at $2.474 billion in the West Bank and $92 million in Gaza.

The sectors that were hit the hardest by the ongoing Israel-Hamas war have been manufacturing, which contracted by 29% in the West Bank and 95% in the Gaza Strip (overall by 63%), and construction, which collapsed by 42% in the West Bank and 99% in the Gaza Strip (overall 51%).

Per capita GDP has also taken a nosedive, contracting by 26% in the West Bank and 86% in the Gaza Strip.

A report by the International Labor Organization and the PCBS released earlier this month found that unemployment in the Palestinian territories has skyrocketed since the outbreak of war to an overall 50.8%, surging by 32% in the West Bank and by 79% in the Gaza Strip. Much of the unemployment and economic contraction in the West Bank is due to Israel suspending work permits of about 150,000 Palestinian laborers who used to commute daily into Israel after October 7, when Palestinian terror group Hamas launched a devastating shock assault on Israel from Gaza.

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