West Bank and Gaza - Country Commercial Guide
Market Challenges

Learn about barriers to market entry and local requirements, i.e., things to be aware of when entering the market for this country.

Last published date: 2021-10-26
  • The West Bank and Gaza remain highly dependent on Israeli supplies and export opportunities. Almost all Palestinian exports must go through Israel or Israeli-controlled checkpoints. The Israeli government regularly adjusts operations on short notice in response to major security incidents. Routine Israeli security checks can also result in lengthy delays. 
  • The Second Intifada that began in the fall of 2000 significantly damaged the West Bank and Gazan economic and commercial environment. Movement of goods into and out of Palestinian markets has been heavily restricted ever since, despite the end of the intifada in 2005.
  • The June 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas has resulted in the closure of borders with Israel and Egypt and the cessation of most trade between Gaza and the outside world, including the West Bank. In addition, Israeli security restrictions on the movement and access of goods and people between the West Bank, Gaza, and external markets continue to have a damaging effect on the private sector and limit economic growth.  Periodically, tensions escalate between Hamas and Israel that affect the Gaza Strip and opportunities in this market.
  • The Palestinian economy is small and heavily influenced by political events.
  • Exports are important for private sector growth. 
  • The Standards Institute of Israel (SII) sets standards for all goods entering via Israel. Lengthy standards testing on products entering the West Bank and Gaza can delay shipments into Palestinian markets. The Palestine Standards Institution (PSI) plays a minor role because the Palestinian Authority (PA) has no control over borders and can only apply additional Palestinian standards on imports entering its areas. 
  • The inadequate provision of public goods including road infrustruture, utility networks, and health provision across municipalities affect the welfare of the Palestinian economy.