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Nature in War


The short-term economic losses in such a situation are difficult to measure. But they include reduced income to workers, farmers and business people who cannot reach their places of employment in the PT and the reduced output and revenues for commercial and business enterprises which are unable to obtain inputs and/or access output markets. Moreover, the uncertain security situation has reduced tourist-generated income. As the crisis persisted, the extent of these types of losses became more pronounced.

In its report about the situation, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Occupied Territories (UNSCO) states:" In addition to the internal losses, the border closures have effectively halted the outward flow of Palestinian labor. In the first half of 2000, there was an average of about 125,000 Palestinians employed in Israel and Israeli settlements and industrial zones on a daily basis. The average worker was earning a daily wage of about NIS 110 or about USD 27.50. As a group, these workers were earning approximately USD 3.4 million each day. These losses consist of: 1) the dampening effects on the production and circulation of goods (inputs and outputs) and services in the PT estimated at USD 148.0 million. These include losses incurred due to impediments to internal and external trade; 2) the labor income lost by workers (and their households) due to their inability to reach job sites in Israel and Israeli settlements and industrial zones. This loss is estimated at USD 38.2 million. While lost labor income is irretrievable, and the rise of a new social class of poor is immeasurable, some of the domestic output/income losses may be recuperated once internal and external trade resumes."

These reports stem from atrocities that take place on the ground by real criminals against real people. Early in the morning of Nov 16, the Israeli military stopped a car of Palestinian workers outside of the central Hebron area while on their way to work. After stopping the car, two of the workers, Ihsein Mohammad Mustafa Al Barada'ieyeh and Youssef Mohammad Abdel Latif Ghenimat, were shot at close range by Israeli soldiers. The two were then taken by the Israeli military to a hospital inside Israel. Both are reported to be in critical condition. The remaining workers in the car were arrested. Later on that day, the military destroyed and completely dismantled the vegetable market of the city in a move seen to be an indication of the expansion of the settler installments in the middle of the city (Palestinian News Agency, WAFA).

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian fisherman and residents have been prevented from reaching anywhere near the coastline by an Israeli attack helicopter hovering low in the area. Anyone attempting to approach the seacoast is shot at with heavy machine gun fire from the helicopter.

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