FEATURE: On the road to nowhere, merchants pay the toll

On the road to nowhere, merchants pay the toll

Since the September 2000 start of the most recent Palestinian uprising, the Israeli government has imposed stiff restrictions on Palestinian trade, permission to work inside Israel and movement among West Bank towns and cities. More recently, it has severed the economic link between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the main territorial elements of the unrealized Palestinian state.

In a process that has accelerated sharply since the January 2006 election victory by the radical Islamic movement Hamas, the isolated Palestinian economy has imploded while Israel’s has thrived on increased trade with Europe and the United States. Industries in Israeli settlements have also benefited financially by employing low-wage Palestinian laborers barred from Israel. [complete article]

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