Officials: Cease-fire healing economy (JERUSALEM POST) By JOEL LEYDEN 07/31/03)
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Following the one month anniversary of the Israeli-Palestinian cease-
fire, the Israeli economy is starting to show serious signs of
improvement, senior government sources told The Jerusalem Post.
"Early indicators such as lowered interest rates, a healthy stock
exchange, Israelis going abroad and tourists coming in and the
implementation of the emergency economic plan all point to positive
movement," the source said.
Government officials warn that it is still premature to judge in the
most solid terms whether the "hudna" or cease-fire is truly having a
long-range impact on the economy. Sources point out that foreign
investors are watching the situation here very closely and know the
distinction between political sound bytes and reality on the ground.
"In the past month, there have been 167 Palestinian terrorist attacks
which have been prevented by the IDF and security forces," the source
said. "The investor in New York, London or Paris knows that it only
takes one successful attack to get through which would bring us back
to the economic situation we had before the cease-fire. If one only
read the newspaper headlines, one would think that Palestinian
terrorism has ceased - and that simply is not true."
The source in Jerusalem concludes: "the investors are basically doing
the same thing that the Prime Minister and Defense Minister are
doing - waiting for Palestinian PM Mazan to take real steps, not
verbiage, in three areas. Putting an end to racial incitement,
stopping the Kassam missile tests off Gaza and destroying the
terrorist infrastructure with the arrests of those opposed to the
peace process and the confiscation of their weapons in the West Bank
and Gaza." (© 1995-2003, The Jerusalem Post 07/31/03)
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