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Palestinians: Economic Situation

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 6 April 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of the level of support given by the Government of Israel to the economy in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement. (324396)

I have been asked to reply.

Although there are no specific reports on the level of support given by Israel to improve the economy in the West Bank, regular updates provided by the Office of the Quartet Representative and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs give some information.

Israel has relaxed a number of restrictions on access in the last few months, including increased opening hours at certain crossing points, the removal of some earth mounds, and allowing Arab Israelis to visit the West Bank city of Jenin. The pilot project to keep the Allenby bridge crossing into Jordan open until midnight is expected to continue.

Such moves have complemented the significant levels of donor support to drive growth in the West Bank economy. Despite these improvements, movement and access into and within the West Bank remains seriously restricted, and further easing is essential to help the Palestinian economy grow.