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Palestinian GDP seen falling 27% on seven months of war: UNDP

Palestinians accuse Israel of 'apartheid' at UN top court
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The Palestinian economy is estimated to shrink by 26.9 percent after seven months of war, with the poverty rate surging, said a new United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) assessment released Thursday.

The estimates, released with the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, also found that the Palestinian poverty rate will continue climbing to 58.4 percent.

The war erupted with Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive, vowing to destroy Hamas, has killed at least 34,596 people in Gaza — mostly women and children — including 28 over the past day, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

Much of Gaza has been reduced to a grey landscape of rubble.

“Every additional day that this war continues is exacting huge and compounding costs to Gazans and all Palestinians,” said UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in a statement.

“These new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end when the war does,” he added.

He warned of a “serious development crisis” stemming from the massive losses over a short span of time.

Should the war continue for nine months, poverty is expected to more than double from pre-war levels, while the drop in gross domestic product would reach 29 percent, the UNDP said.

A World Bank report published early April said the Israel-Hamas war has caused damage of around $18.5 billion to Gaza’s critical infrastructure.

This was equivalent to 97 percent of the combined economic output of the West Bank and Gaza in 2022.

The interim damage report covers the period from the onset of conflict on October 7 to end-January.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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