By Mahmoud ElKhafif, an economist with the United Nations
'No “Deal of the Century” is possible without a full and comprehensive assessment of the economic and financial toll of Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territories.
Long decades of arbitrary Israeli policies have inflicted enormous economic costs on the Palestinian people. Since the first moments of the occupation, Israel (the occupying power) has imposed its hegemony on all sectors of the Palestinian economy and practiced daily measures to deprive the Palestinian people of their land, water and natural resources and destroy their homes and properties.
The economic damage caused by the occupation has become a daily ritual that the Palestinian people have to live with. At the same time, Israel is relentlessly expanding its internationally illegal settlements on Palestinian land, and the enormous cost of occupation for the Palestinian people accumulates over time.
However, to this moment, all these historical and emerging costs have not been estimated or documented in a systematic and comprehensive reference.
Therefore, there is no urge that may compel Israel to assume its responsibility, as the occupying power, under international law. On the contrary, Israel intensifies its arbitrary measures to increase the economic cost of occupation for the Palestinian people and deals with the whole issue with indifference.
For this reason, the UN General Assembly, in the last five years, adopted five consecutive resolutions (20/69, 12/70, 17/20, 72/13 and 73/18) requesting the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to estimate the economic costs that the Palestinian people incurred because of the Israeli occupation and document these costs in reports to the General Assembly.
In 2016 and 2018, UNCTAD prepared two preliminary reports (A / 71/174 and A / 73/201), in which the economic dimension of the occupation is described as acts by the occupying power that aim at confiscating the properties, natural resources and economic benefits of the people under occupation.'
Read more: The costs of Israeli occupation
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