Mahmoud Abbas slams Israeli occupation

Acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas has censured the Tel Aviv regime blaming the Israeli occupation for the dire economic situation in the occupied West Bank.

“The economic situation is really difficult, and the main reason is the Israeli occupation,” Abbas told official Palestinian television on Saturday.

Abbas added that the Tel Aviv regime “exploits our resources and lands which increased our economic deficit.”

He also warned that the Palestinian Authority would be unable to pay salaries for its staff in November due to the difficult economic situation in the West Bank.

Last week, the World Bank said in a report that Israeli restrictions in the West Bank cost the Palestinians more than $3.4 billion annually.

It said that the gross domestic product (GDP) in the West Bank could increase by at least 35 percent if the Israeli regime lifted its restrictions on Palestinian access and movement in Area C.

“Access to Area C will go a long way to solving Palestinian economic problems,” said Mariam Sherman, the outgoing World Bank Country Director for the Palestinian territories.

Area C, which is under Israeli civilian and military control, constitutes 61 percent of the West Bank – not including East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“The alternative is bleak. Without the ability to utilize the potential of Area C, the economic space will remain fragmented and stunted. Lifting multiple restrictions could transform the economy and substantially improve prospects for sustained growth,” Sherman said.

The comments by Mahmoud Abbas come as the Israeli regime continues with its illegal settlement activities in the occupied territories.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

By Press TV


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