On the West Bank, First Glimmers of an Economic Revival

[New York Times] Isabel Kershner and Ethan Bronner - Six years ago the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem was the site of a five-week standoff between Israeli troops and armed Palestinian militants. This year there are more tourists in Bethlehem than at any time in a decade, and their presence signals that life for West Bank Palestinians seems to be making substantial improvement. Both Israeli and Palestinian officials report economic growth for the territories of 4-5% and a drop in the unemployment rate. Israel reports that in 2008 wages are up more than 20% and trade by 35%. In the West Bank, Hamas is currently subdued, with its armed men deep underground, its political leaders in Israeli jails, and those representatives still at large diligently playing by PA rules. The governor of Bethlehem, Salah Tamari, said Hamas was weakening in the West Bank as people saw how hard life was under its rule in Gaza.

2008-12-24 06:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive