World Bank warns outlook ‘bleak’ for Palestinian economy

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The World Bank warns the Palestinian economy faces a “bleak” outlook as Israel continues its blockade of the Gaza Strip and has increased restrictions on the West Bank.

In a new report, the global lender commended efforts by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to slim its public wage bill but says the economies of the Gaza Strip and West Bank remain heavily dependent on foreign donor support and hindered by Israeli restrictions.

Israeli-imposed “restrictions on movement and access in the West Bank and the restrictions resulting in near-blockade in Gaza remain among the most important obstacles to growth and private sector development in the Palestinian territories,” the report says.

“If not eased or lifted, the Palestinian economy is expected to continue operating well below its potential,” it adds.

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