IMF: 2 decades of restrictions stalled Palestinian growth

Markets Associated Press

The International Monetary Fund says Israeli movement restrictions and political uncertainty have severely hindered Palestinian economic growth.

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In a report Wednesday, the fund estimates that without such restrictions, Palestinian per capita GDP since 1994 would have been from 37 percent to 130 percent higher. The fund came up with a range because it used three different growth scenarios.

Israel has portrayed movement restrictions as security measures.

The report on the Palestinian economy was released ahead of a meeting of donor country representatives later this month, at a time of continued deadlock in attempts to negotiate the terms of Palestinian statehood.

The report says aid to the Palestinians is declining and that the Palestinian self-rule government faces a financing gap of almost $500 million this year, or 3.5 percent of GDP.