• Ramallah

  • Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at 12:27 PM
    Last Update : Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 10:38 AM

AWP Interviews President Official on Economic Impact of Gaza War

(AWP) - Head of the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (FPCCIA), Abdo Idris, told AWP that the Israeli war in Gaza has taken its toll on all sectors of the Palestinian economy amidst the continuous closures imposed across West Bank cities.

In an exclusive interview with AWP, Idris said, "The extent of the destruction is huge, the extent of the pain is huge, but today the priority is a ceasefire so that we can chart a future, I mean, as much as possible.

He enumerated the financial losses caused by the war across the sectors of the Palestinian economy.

He said, "All sectors were damaged. The Palestinian economy primarily depends on existing salaries from the Palestinian National Authority (PA), and its operational expenses are related to the private sector, meaning that this is reflected in the money pumped into the country. This [money] stopped because the Israeli side stopped paying Palestinian entitlements related to the Palestinian clearance funds."

Idris added, "The other issue is that of workers who work in Israel. You are talking about 1.25 billion [Israeli shekels] of expenses for the Palestinian National Authority, including salaries and operational expenses, and approximately 1.2 billion [shekels] of wages of [Palestinian] workers who work in Israel which have also stopped. You have those internally [within Palestinian territories] who come shopping from many Palestinian governorates, especially the northern governorates of the West Bank as well. This has stopped – equivalent to about 200 million shekels per month."

According to Idris, the financial toll of the war is significantly increasing with no end in sight for the foreseeable future.

He said, "The most important and most dangerous thing today in the West Bank governorates is the closures between cities and between governorates which have raised transportation prices and raised everything related to logistics of the private sector, in addition to restricting the movement of individuals and goods in general. This has also significantly affected the economy. I would say the extent of existing accumulations that have harmed the Palestinian private sector is endless and, unfortunately, they are developing ominously in light of the circumstances in which we currently live."

To mitigate the downward spiral of the Palestinian economy, Idris called on the international community to pressure the Israeli government to release the allocated clearance funds to the Palestinian Authority.

He concluded, "Today, through the Palestinian Monetary Authority, we are trying from all directions to alleviate the catastrophic burdens on the Palestinian economy. The international community is required to assume its responsibilities in releasing the clearance funds to the Palestinian Authority so that salaries are paid at a minimum to spur some kind of movement in Palestinian markets so we can continue. But the biggest and most important issue for us is stopping the war immediately."