Report: Significant economic growth in West Bank


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The West Bank has seen significant economic growth, according to a new report.

The growth can be attributed to security measures, civilian assistance steps and successful coordination between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities, according to a report released Monday by the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories section of the Defense Ministry.

Wages increased 24 percent and unemployment decreased by 3 percent compared to the same time frame in 2007, according to the report. The number of workers employed in the West Bank itself grew by 10 percent, as did the number of permits for Palestinians working in Israel. In addition, trade between Israel and the Palestinian Authority jumped 35 percent.

The number of vehicles imported to the West Bank soared 953 percent, from 299 in all of 2007 to 3,148 in the first 10 months of 2008.

At least 113 road blocks were dismantled, according to the report, and some 20 Palestinian police stations were opened throughout the West Bank. In addition, Israeli and Palestinian security forces have held an additional 247 meetings since January to build confidence and coordinate activities.

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