Poverty in Palestine

The human cost of the financial boycott

Published: 12 April 2007

In April 2006, key donors including the USA, EU, and Canada suspended international aid to the Palestinian Authority government (PA), following the overwhelming victory of Hamas in parliamentary elections. Israel had previously suspended the transfer of the tax and customs revenues it collects on behalf of the PA. However, the decision to suspend aid to the PA and withhold tax revenues has led to immense suffering.

One year later, the number of Palestinian people living in poverty has jumped by 30 per cent, essential services are facing meltdown, and previously unknown levels of factional violence plague Palestinian streets. If this situation continues, the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) risk becoming a ‘failed state’, destroying the chances of achieving a two-state solution. Oxfam believes that donors and Israel should urgently resume direct financial transfers to the PA.