Middle East Monitor / May 5, 2023
The Palestinian city of Jericho/Ariha in the northern occupied West Bank has incurred huge economic losses estimated in the millions of dollars due to the suffocating Israeli blockade imposed on the city since February.
Local sources said Israeli occupation forces continue to erect military checkpoints at the main entrances to the city and the surrounding refugee camps and have closed the military checkpoint at the southern entrance, which has delayed citizens and impeded their movement.
The city is considered a main destination for internal and external tourism.
On Wednesday, the head of Jericho’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tayseer Hamida, said the losses to the tourism sector in the city amounted to 221 million shekels (about $70 million) since last February, due to the strict military measures.
Hamida explained that the losses included the closure of 15 hotels in addition to many restaurants and tourist and entertainment places.
He pointed out that the agricultural sector was also affected by these measures, where its losses were estimated at between $15 and $20 million, as a result of farmers being denied access to their agricultural lands or selling their goods in local markets.
For months, Israeli occupation forces have been escalating their unjust measures against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank including incursions and arrests as part of an ongoing policy of collective punishment.