Palestinians becoming more dependent on Israeli imports, UN report says

Palestinians are becoming more dependent on imports - particularly from Israel - while the value of the goods they export is declining, according to a UN study released Thursday. Palestinians imported $2 billion worth of goods from Israel last year, equivalent to almost half of their gross domestic product, the UN Conference on Trade and Development said in its annual report on the Palestinian territories. Overall, imports rose to $3.63 billion in 2006 compared to $3.35 billion the year before, UNCTAD said. At the same time, GDP in the Palestinian territories decreased 6.6 percent to US$4.15 billion and its exports dropped by 12.6 percent last year to $581 million, the 20-page report said.