Confidence Building Measures in the West Bank and the Impact on the Palestinian Economy

The Palestinian economy in the West Bank continues to exhibit significant growth, with a 9% GDP increase in 2010. Thousands of new shops opened throughout the region including 600 new businesses in the city of Jenin alone. Approximately 5.5% of the GDP in the West Bank comes from Israeli Arabs, of which 3.3 million visited the Palestinian cities last year.

Two years ago as part of Israeli confidence building measures in the West Bank, Israeli Arabs experienced free access to Palestinian cities in the West Bank and an expansion of the hours in which crossings were open. The primary goal of these confidence building measures is to stimulate economic growth for the local Palestinian population.

The Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, the Israeli body responsible for administering and coordinating civilian and humanitarian needs in the area, as well as security forces in the West Bank, view the economic improvement as a direct result of the relatively quiet security situation.

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