Analysis: Palestinian economy on the mend despite challenges

PA president Mahmoud Abbas. Image credit:, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The economy of the Palestinian territories is exhibiting “signs of recovery” despite serious challenges of unemployment and “deteriorating social conditions” in Gaza, a report by the World Bank said this week.

The first half of 2021 saw a growth rate of 5.4 percent, with growth expected to reach 6 percent by the end of the year, the report said. Growth is expected to slow to 3 percent in 2022, however.

In Gaza, which has been governed by the Hamas terrorist group since 2007, unemployment stands at 45 percent and a poverty rate stands at 59 percent, up from 43 percent in 2016.

In the West Bank, governed by the Palestinian Authority, unemployment stands at 17 percent, while the PA faces a “very challenging” fiscal situation that sees it “no longer able to borrow from domestic banks”, the report warned.

“The way ahead is still uncertain”, World Bank director for the West Bank and Gaza Kanthan Shankar said, adding that progress “depends on coordinated actions by all parties in revitalising the economy and providing job opportunities for the young population”.

Israel has announced a number of confidence-building measures to boost the PA economy in recent months, including $155m in financial loans, more work permits for 16,000 Palestinians to work in Israel, and approving construction of more homes for Palestinians.