Published On: Sun, Apr 3rd, 2016

Israeli restrictions cause 1 billion dollar loss for Palestinians

A World Bank report says that stringent Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian telecommunications sector has caused the latter to lose more than one billion dollars over the past three years.


The Palestinian telecommunications sector has lost more than one billion dollars in the past three years because of stringent Israeli regulations on its cell providers, according to a World Bank report entitled “Missed opportunity for Economic Development” released last week.

According to the report, blocked access to 3G and 4G networks, Israeli providers flooding the Palestinian market, delayed shipments of equipment, and no independent regulator have prevented the Palestinian telecommunications sector from sustained development.

For example, Palestinian providers have lost approximately 20% of the cellphone market to Israeli providers because the latter can provide 3G and 4G. While Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement to provide 3G to Palestinian cell providers, Palestinian providers will still have to compete with Israel providers, who offer the superior 4G. Moreover, the Palestinian Authority has lost more than $184 million in taxes to the Israeli market over the past three years.

World Bank leaders believe Palestinians could achieve economic growth if reforms are enacted. “With the unemployment rate at 26%, the Palestinian telecom sector has the potential to boost the economy and create job opportunities, ” said Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank director for the West Bank and Gaza. “In order for that to happen, Palestinian operators should be able to access similar resources as their neighbors.”

Via Ynet New, by Elior Levy

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