The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, May 16, 2002  

Foreign Contributors to Pick Up the Tab

Israel’s military assault on the West Bank caused physical damage estimated at $361 million, according to an assessment conducted by the World Bank, United Nations agencies, the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development, and officials from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Norway.

“According to the donors’ estimate, private businesses took the heaviest losses, suffering $97 million in damage, of which $50 million was harm to buildings and equipment and loss of inventory. Damage to roads was estimated at $64 million, housing at $66 million and cultural heritage sites at $48 million,” according to the report, cited in a New York Times article today by Joel Greenberg.

Nablus was hit hardest, with an estimated $114 million in damages, followed by Jenin, where approximately 800 families were left homeless by Israeli troops -- at $110 million, and Ramallah at $61 million.

“Donors have already promised initial aid of $150 million for urgent repairs, and the bulk of the damage could be fixed within a year, said Nigel Roberts, director of the World Bank office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” writes Greenberg. “He added that the aid would have to come entirely from foreign contributions, because the Palestinian Authority is ‘effectively bankrupt.’”

That bankrupt entity would be the same Palestinian Authority that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon demands bring an end to attacks on Israeli targets. Go figure.

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