Bethlehem Governorate was subjected from Thursday â€“ October 18th 2001 to the re-occupation by the Israeli Military and the imposition of internal closures and a new invasion to force the Palestinian people to surrender. This lead to the killing of 21 martyres and 150 injured civilians, in addition to the destruction of the infrastructure (water, electricity, and telephone networks) not to mention the severe damages to the private properties of the population.
Bethlehem Governorate was subjected from Thursday â€“ October 18th 2001 to the re-occupation by the Israeli Military and the imposition of internal closures and a new invasion to force the Palestinian people to surrender.
This lead to the killing of 21 martyres and 150 injured civilians, in addition to the destruction of the infrastructure (water, electricity, and telephone networks) not to mention the severe damages to the private properties of the population.
Needless to say that the re-occupation of Bethlehem Governorate is aiming to destruct the Palestinian Economic achievements during the last 6 years which was executed by the National Palestinian Authority in the Governorate under â€œBethlehem 2000 Projectâ€ which received financial aid from the donor countries to develop and rehabilitate the Bethlehem Governorate.
This policy of destruction due to the closure of the Palestinian Territories and the economic seige imposed and currently the re-occupation resulted in that more than 65% of the Bethlehem Governorate population became below the poverty line, which is due to the losses of their sources of income and the freezing of the main economic and commercial production sectors especially the Tourism Sector.
Therefore, in the shorter and longer terms this re-occupation and the seige imposed will have direct negative impacts on the Bethlehem area and on the investiment environment.
Estimated damages and losses in Bethlehem Governorate during the period of October 18th â€“ October 25th , 2001, is apporximately 12 million Dollars of the Bethlehem Governorate GNP, which covers all economic sectors, revenues, and the increase in the rate of unemployment (57%) which is a consequence of the stoppage of the economic educational institutions and the lack of financial liquidity and the restrictions imposed on the movement of goods and people.
The direct estimated main losses is approximately $ 17,440,000distributed on the various sectors as follows:
- Partial destruction and damages to electricity sites, water network, and telephone lines, estimated losses $ 1,500,000.
- The destruction of roads, edges, concrete walls, and the sewerage system, estimated losses $ 850,000.
- The uprooting and destruction of the agriculture lands, confisicating of private land and houses for military purposes, estimated losses$ 1,000,000 .
- Direct agriculture losses due to the inability to collect and harvest the olive and grapes, estimated losses $ 650,000.
- The demolition of public and private buildings due to shelling and bombardment estimated losses $ 2,500,000.
- The Shelling of the Holy Family Hospital, and Beit-Jala Public Hospital, in addition to private Health Clinics , estimated losses $ 700.000.
- Demolition of 18 private cars, estimated losses $ 540,000.
- Paradise Hotel and the commerical stores in the building were burned, estimated losses $ 4,000,000.
- Bethlehem Tourist Hotels were hit (Bethlehem Inn, Bethlehem Hotel, Antonian Hotel, & Intercontinental), estimated losses $ 1,000,000.
- Karraaâ€™ Commercial Centre was burned, Hodaly, Ikhmayes, and Khamashta buildings and markets in addition to several commercial stores in Beit Jala, Aida & Al-Azah Camps and Al-Doha were shelled, estimated losses $ 1.500,000.
- Shelling and bombardment of Bethlehem University and the Open University, estimated losses $ 500,000.
- Commercial Stores in Al-Mahed Street and the area of Bilal Mosque were shelled and distructed by army bulldozers, estimated losses $ 650,000.
These estimated losses of the Governorate income and damages to the economic and the massive sharp fall in Palestinian household income, together with massive unemployment and increasing poverty will have a far reaching effect on the economy of the governorate and will aggravate structural weeknesses threaten further deterioration in living conditions unless efforts is done urgently to force the Israelis to withdraw.