World Bank: Gaza needs trade, not just aid

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By Middle East Affairs

The economy in the Gaza Strip cannot survive on international aid alone, but needs Israel and Egypt to lift the blockades and allow free trade, Reuters reports the World Bank said on Thursday.

“The (Gaza) economy cannot survive without being connected to the outside world,” it said in a 46-page report.

Reuters reported from a meeting of world powers in Rome to discuss the “future of a U.N. relief agency for Palestinians threatened by U.S. funding cuts.”

Gaza has been under Hamas control since 2007, which as an armed Islamist group.

Gaza’s economic growth plummeted from 8 percent in 2016 to 0.5 percent last year, Reuters reports, and basic services like water and electricity are running short.

“In the long term, aid will not be able to provide the impetus for growth, nor can it reverse Gaza’s de-development,” the report said.

Reuters said Israel and Egypt did not immediately comment on the report.

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