“After the Oslo agreements in 1995, Palestinian economic fortunes actually had been looking up. The West Bank and Gaza saw a flurry of investment as diaspora Palestinians, who had become wealthy abroad, returned to build businesses in what they hoped would soon be an independent state. Unemployment dropped steadily and was under 10% in the beginning of 2000.
However, the Israeli response to the second Intifada crippled economic activity in Palestinian-controlled areas. An estimated 10% of Palestinian productive stock was destroyed by military incursions. Further, the Israeli government constructed a 708km separation barrier along the Green Line and the West Bank. Checkpoints in the territories impeded travel between Palestinian Authority zones and made passage to Israel for those able to get a work permit an ordeal.”