World Bank: Donations to Gaza far behind pledges

AP News
Posted: Sep 15, 2016 3:38 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The World Bank said on Thursday that less than half the money pledged by donors to rebuild the Gaza Strip after the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel has been disbursed.

The shortfall is among several reasons the Palestinian economy is stagnating, with unemployment at 42 percent in Gaza and at 18 percent in the West Bank. The World Bank said Israeli restrictions are also limiting Palestinian economic competitiveness and driving away private investments.

The bank recommends that Israel allow more building in the West Bank and loosen its blockade of Gaza. It also called on the Palestinian Authority to cut spending, especially by reducing pension payments.

The report will be delivered to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, a forum of donors to the Palestinian Authority, in New York next week.

Late Thursday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said a Palestinian died from wounds sustained from Israeli fire earlier in the day in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron.

There were no further details. The Israeli military had no immediate comment.