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Even in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, steps can be taken now that could significantly brighten a gloomy Palestinian economic situation, the World Bank said Tuesday.Removing Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement in so-called Area C in the occupied West Bank – where Israel maintains civil and security control – could boost the size of the West Bank economy by one-third in eight years, the World Bank said.According to the World Bank, less than 1 percent of Area C, which is already built up, is designated by the Israeli authorities for Palestinian use, while the remainder is heavily restricted or off-limits to Palestinians.Based on second quarter 2017 figures cited by the World Bank, employment in the West Bank, home to some 2.6 million people, is at 21 percent, and 44 percent in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of 2 million.
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