The Palestinian economy may lose more than 3.5 billion United States dollars annually if Israel implements its plan to annex parts of the West Bank, a senior Palestinian official said Wednesday.
Mazen Ghoneim, head of the Palestinian Water Authority, told the official Palestinian television that the Palestinians will lose about 600 million cubic meters of water per year and at least 73,000 job opportunities if Israel annexes the Jordan Valley in the West Bank.
“If Israel implements its annexation plan, the rate of imports will increase and the contribution of the agricultural sector in local production will decrease, and consequently, rates of unemployment will increase,” said Ghoneim.
He said Israel’s annexation of the Jordan Valley is aimed at having a larger control of Palestinian water resources as Israel is controlling more than 85 percent of the Palestinian water resources.
The Israeli government is planning to annex more than 30 percent of the West Bank and impose sovereignty on several Israeli settlements in the territory.
Tension between the Palestinians and Israelis has mounted after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his annexation plan would start in July.
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