De-development Revisited: Palestinian Economy and Society since Oslo

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VOL. 28


No. 3
P. 64
De-development Revisited: Palestinian Economy and Society since Oslo

The years since the Oslo agreement have seen a marked deterioration in Palestinian economic life and an accelerated de-development process. The key features of this process have been heightened by the effects of closure, the defining economic feature of the post-Oslo period. Among its results are enclavization, seen in the physical separation of the West Bank and Gaza; the weakening of economic relations between the Palestinian and Israeli economies; and growing divisions within the Palestinian labor market, with the related, emerging pattern of economic autarky. In the circumstances described, the prospects for sustained economic development are nonexistent and will remain so as long as closure continues.

Sara Roy, a research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, is the author of several books, including The Gaza Strip: The Political Economy of De-development (Institute for Palestine Studies, 1995).