The Palestinian Businessmen Association published Monday shocking indices of the absence of economic growth due to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip that has been ongoing for 12 years.
Head of the Palestinian Businessmen Association Ali al-Hayek stated that the economy in Gaza did not witness any remarkable and positive progress in 2019 because of the continuous Israeli siege and the internal Palestinian division, as well as the limited government intervention and international grants.
Hayek warned that the social, humanitarian and economic conditions will worsen in 2020, unless problems are resolved.
According to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH (dpa), he complained over the prevailing paralysis in the markets of Gaza as a result of the severe shortage in monetary liquidity, the halt of operations in productive sectors and factories, the unprecedented shortage of crude materials, and the ban on exports as well as failure to compensate the owners for their financial losses throughout the siege years.
The growth rate in the majority of activities is zero in 2019, Hayek said, describing the economic and financial condition as miserable. There are rubber checks worth around USD1.158 billion, which is the highest level in the history of the Palestinian banking sector, he added.
Hayek said that the private sector in Gaza witnessed a collapse, the biggest in years, in which its operational ability dropped to around 15 percent compared to more than 80 percent before the beginning of the siege in 2006.
He spoke about the latest United Nations report that warned that Gaza Strip would experience tough conditions in terms of economic growth and possible challenges in accessing potable water and electricity.
Hayek stressed the importance of lifting the siege, opening the crossings, allowing freedom of travel, export, and import, annulling the lists of banned goods and enabling the industrial sector to practice its activity without any hindrance.