The UN says Palestine’s gross domestic product (GDP) would be twice what it currently is if not for Israel’s occupation.
According to a report released by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Tuesday, the removal of Israel’s occupation would also significantly reduce unemployment and poverty.
“Without occupation, the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory could produce twice the GDP it currently generates," said the report.
Citing several studies, the report highlights the channels in which Tel Aviv is depriving the Palestinians of their basic human right of development and hollowing out Palestine’s economy.
“Chief among these are the confiscation of Palestinian land, water and other natural resources; loss of policy space; restrictions on the movement of people and goods; destruction of assets and the productive base; expansion of Israeli settlements; fragmentation of domestic markets; separation from international markets and forced dependence on the Israeli economy,” it said.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under the international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The UNCTAD report also notes that the occupied territory’s economy has been slow since a 2014 recession mainly due to Israeli military operations in Gaza.
In the summer of 2014 Israel attacked the Gaza killing over 2,200 Palestinians and leaving over half a million more displaced. It also severely damaged more than 20,000 homes, 148 schools, 15 hospitals, and 45 clinics. At least 247 factories and 300 commercial centers were rendered inoperable or totally destroyed in the attack.