Friday, April 12, 2024

World Bank cautions Gaza economy plummeted by over 80% due to Israeli strikes

Gaza's economy shrank by more than 80% in the fourth quarter of last year due to Israeli onslaught against the besieged enclave, according to the World Bank.

In a report, the bank said the attacks on the Palestinian enclave since October have resulted in massive loss of life and the effects of the conflict on the Palestinian economy have been consequential.

GDP plummeted from approximately $670 million in the third quarter to roughly $90 million in the fourth quarter, it added.

Stating that the Palestinian economy experienced one of the largest shocks recorded in recent economic history since the start of the conflict, the report said: “Almost all economic activity in Gaza has ground to a halt”.

“The conflict is expected to leave lasting impacts on the affected populations in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, extending far beyond any economic assessment,” it added.

The report also said about 1.7 million Palestinians living in Gaza — some 75% of the total population in Gaza — have been internally displaced and the entire population of 2.3 million is suffering from a shortage of food, water, electricity, fuel and medicine.

“The observed level of fixed assets damage and destruction is catastrophic,” it added.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed more than 29,500 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Nearly 70,000 people have been injured.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack while over 200 were taken back to Gaza as hostages.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85% of the territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

Hostilities have continued unabated, however, and aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient to address the humanitarian catastrophe.

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