Palestinian GDP per capita only 7.3 percent of Israeli GDP per capita (2017)

GDP per Capita: Israel vs West Bank and Gaza (1994-2017) (World Bank)

Een belangrijke indicator voor de economische ongelijkheid tussen Israel en de Palestijnen: in 2017 bedroeg het Bruto Nationaal Product per hoofd van de bevolking op de Westelijke Jordaanoever en in de Strook van Gaza slechts 7,3 procent van dat van de inwoners van Israel (onder wie de economisch achtergestelde, autochtone Palestijnse bevolkingsgroep van rond 20 procent).

growth versus stagnation

Between 1994 (start of the Oslo Process) and 2017, Israeli GDP per capita, adjusted to purchasing power parity, increased by 150 percent; in the West Bank and Gaza, the comparable figure was 160 percent. Yet, the Palestinian starting-point is so low that progress in living standards is largely fiction.

In 1994 Palestinian living standards were only 6.4 percent ($ 1,526) of the Israeli level ($ 23,693). Last year, Palestinian living standards were about 7.3 percent ($ 2,494) of the Israeli level ($ 34,135). After more than two decades the catch-up has amounted to less than a percentage point.

economic polarisation

Moreover, the economic policy of the successive governments led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have dramatically increased economic polarization in Israel. In the early 1990s, the Gini coefficient (a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation’s residents, and the most commonly used measurement of inequality), was around 35 in Israel, at the level of Portugal and Italy. Closer to 43 today, it is among the highest in OECD countries, and at the level of Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

no end in sight

A steep decrease in Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and external funding to Gaza since 2017 has worsened already dangerous humanitarian conditions there. According to the World Bank, Gazans’ real per capita incomes have fallen by one-third since 1994, owing largely to the West Bank-Gaza split and to Israel’s and Egypt’s tight controls on goods and people transiting Gaza’s borders.

source: Dan Steinbock; Consortium News, October 16, 2018