RealNews

Poverty Worsening in Israel and Palestinian Areas, 2 Studies Find

Two reports released Tuesday show that poverty has steadily worsened in Israel and risen significantly in the Palestinian territories since fighting erupted four years ago, though both economies have recently shown signs of stabilization. The reports come at a time when Israelis and Palestinians are reassessing the conflict after the death of the Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat. The overall level of violence has dropped lately, and the Palestinians are planning an election on Jan. 9 to replace Mr. Arafat as leader of the Palestinian Authority. The economic collapse has been stark on the Palestinian side, with an estimated 47 percent of Palestinians living below the poverty line of $410 a month for a family of six, according to a World Bank report that covered 2003. That was a slight improvement over 2002, when 51 percent of Palestinians were below the poverty line. Full Story

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