West Bank Poverty May Double over Pandemic as Annexation Looms
By Staff, Agencies
Poverty in the occupied West Bank may double as Palestinians are hit by the coronavirus, the World Bank warned Monday, just weeks before the Zionist entity aims to kick-start plans to annex parts of the occupied territory.
The United Nations has meanwhile warned that such a move by Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government would stifle financial and aid flows to the Palestinians and "most likely trigger conflict".
The Zionist entity may start the annexation process as soon as July 1 with the support of US President Donald Trump, who in January published his own plan that was roundly rejected by the Palestinians.
The UN warned in a report Sunday that if annexation goes ahead, "the achievements of the Palestinian government over the last quarter century will fade.”
"The peace and security situation will worsen, and a hardened and more extremist politics on both sides will inevitably result."
The annexation plans loom weeks after Netanyahu forged a unity government following more than a year of political deadlock, and as both the Tel Aviv occupation entity and Palestine are assessing the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Palestinian territories have seen low infection rates after acting quickly to curtail the spread of COVID-19, with three deaths out of 450 cases registered among some five million residents in Gaza and the West Bank.
But the Palestinian Authority's financial situation is "expected to become increasingly difficult" due to loss of income and increased spending on healthcare and other areas, the World Bank said in a report.
The fallout is expected to see the number of households living below the poverty line rise this year from 14 to 30 percent in the West Bank, largely due to Palestinians being unable to cross into the occupied territories for work.