UN report proves Israel's brutal occupation on Palestine: minister

UN report proves Israel's brutal occupation on Palestine: minister
A report by UNCTAD has proven that Israel's occupation in the West Bank and siege on Gaza is stunting Palestinian development, Palestine's economy minister said.
2 min read
14 September, 2018
Israeli settlements are a hindrance to Palestinian development [Getty]

A UN report which has revealed the impoverished conditions in Palestine proves the extent to which Israel's policies of expanding the occupation debilitates Palestinians, a minister said.

The report, written by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), highlighted the way in which Israel’s occupation in the West Bank and siege on Gaza has stunted development in the occupied territories, putting the lives of Palestinian civilians at risk.

“Over the years, Israel established a complex matrix of controls over the Palestinian economy featuring a permit system, roadblocks, earth mounds, trenches, road checkpoints, road gates and the Separation Barrier”, the report said.

“The Occupied Palestinian Territory has the highest unemployment rate in the world, and women and youth are disproportionately impacted by the joblessness crisis. Construction of illegal Israeli settlements and annexation of Palestinian land accelerated. Gaza continues to slide on a path of de-development as a grave humanitarian crisis deepens,” the report added.

For government officials in Ramallah, this provides proof that Israel’s policy toward Palestine is hindering its development.

Minister of Economy Abeer Odeh said: “There will be no development under occupation and therefore the international community has an obligation toward improving and developing the Palestinian economy foremost of which is putting an end to Israeli restrictions and control over our economy to facilitate investment and to benefit from our natural resources, particularly in what has been designated as Area C (of the West Bank).”

51 years of illegal occupation

Israel has occupied the West Bank illegally since 1967, committing various crimes against Palestinian civilians.

More than 600,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, in constructions considered illegal under international law.

Along with stealing land, occupying Israeli forces and settlers routinely torment Palestinians in various ways.

Last month, the PA condemned a new plan to build 20,000 illegal Israeli settlement units in the occupied city of Jerusalem as a "declaration of war".

PA spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said on Thursday that the settlement plan was a crime committed by Israeli and US authorities.

"[This] is declaration of war on the existence of the city and its Arab and Islamic characteristics and an attempt to bury these distinguishing features," the agency quoted Mahmoud as saying.

He warned the move will "lead the region and the world into more conflict and violence".

But on Wednesday, PA President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Palestinians will defeat the new settlement plan.