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See also: Agreement on Movement and Access

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Source:
30 November 2006




One year after the signing of the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) on 15 November 2005 between the Government of Israel (GoI) and Palestinian Authority (PA) the ability of Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip to access either the West Bank or the outside world remains extremely limited and the flow of commercial trade is negligible. Movement within the West Bank is also more restricted. There has been no peaceful economic development as envisaged by the AMA but rather a deterioration in the humanitarian situation and an increase in violence overall. The increased closure of Gaza’s crossing points has contributed to the worsening of the economic situation over the last 12 months. In the Gaza Strip, unemployment levels have risen from 33.1% to 41.8% between 2005 and 2006 and already high poverty levels have risen by over two percent.1 Gazan business owners’2 perception of the future is bleaker than at the beginning of the year: in January 2006 81.3% were optimistic about future productivity compared to just 22.6% in September.3


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1Unemployment data according the ‘relaxed’ definition of unemployment comparing Q4 2005 with Q3 2006 (source: PCBS). Poverty levels are based on an income based definition of poverty comparing the situation in July 2005 to May 2006 (source: IUED, Geneva-based Institut universitaire d’etudes du developpement, Polls number 9 and 10).
2Included in this category are an “enterprise or part of an enterprise in which one group of goods and services is produced (with the possibility of having secondary activities)”.
3Source: PCBS, Survey on the perception of owners/managers of the industrial establishments towards economic conditions, September 2006.
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