World Bank: Palestinians Too Poor to Be Independent

Economy of Occupied Territories 'Isn't Strong Enough'

Suggesting that the poverty fueled by the open-ended Israeli occupation is a justification for the continuation of that occupation, the World Bank today issued a report warning against allowing the creation of an independent Palestine, saying the territory was “too poor.”

The report concludes that the Palestinians don’t participate in enough foreign trade, saying “manufacturing and agriculture have dropped significantly” in recent years and that the only growth industry is the foreign-subsidized Palestinian Authority.

It did mention Israeli restrictions on commerce, but only briefly. Still, this was enough for Israeli officials to shoot off an angry retort that the constraints on the Palestinian economy are based on “vital security needs” of the occupation force.

The report is in stark contrast to the IMF’s 2011 report, which said the organization was satisfied that the Palestinian Authority had created a “strong banking system” and was economically ready for statehood.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.