The World Bank report underscores the extreme dependence of the Palestinian Authority on foreign aid. It is now facing a fiscal crisis due to unmet aid promises.
With the flurry of diplomatic maneuvering over the Palestinian Authority's plan to seek recognition at the UN next week, it's worth remembering the financial obstacles that will face those living in the Palestinian territories, whatever does or does not happen at the UN.
A new World Bank report out this week puts the Palestinian economy – and the PA's near-total dependence on aid – front and center. Palestinian economic problems won't be addressed at all by what happens at the UN, where Palestinians say they will press for full membership as a sovereign state.
That's unlikely to happen since the US has vowed to wield its veto on the Security Council, which controls the membership process. But even if Palestinians succeeded, or got a lesser upgrade to their current status, any prospects for major improvements will remain firmly in Israel's hands.
The World Bank says that recent economic growth in Gaza and the West Bank has been almost entirely thanks to foreign aid, that a slowing of foreign aid delivery has presented the PA with a possible fiscal crisis, and that Israeli policies continue to stand in the way of sustainable economic improvement in the territories.
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