Palestinia

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Ben & Jerry’s said Monday it was going to stop selling its ice cream in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and contested east Jerusalem, saying the sales in the territories sought by the Palestinians are “inconsistent with our values,” The Washington Post reported. The announcement was one of the strongest and highest-profile rebukes by a well-known company of Israel’s policy of settling its citizens on war-won lands. The settlements are widely seen by the international community as illegal and obstacles to peace.

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Bridegrooms in the Gaza Strip are finding marriage a path to debtors’ prison rather than to happiness. Wedding celebrations cost around $10,000 in the Palestinian enclave, but a tradition of strong family ties and large gatherings often trumps financial common sense, Reuters reported. So with unemployment in Gaza topping 50% and the economy in a parlous state, many bridegrooms turn for help to money-lending associations that offer wedding loans ranging from $2,000 to $4,000, but repayment often becomes impossible.

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Palestinian finances are on the brink of ruin after the suspension of hundreds of millions of dollars of U.S. aid, the head of the Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. The mounting financial pressures on the Palestinians’ self-ruling entity have sent its debt soaring to $3 billion (£2.3 billion), and led to a severe contraction in its estimated $13 billion GDP economy for the first time in years, Azzam Shawwa told Reuters.

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The mayor and city treasurer of the western Negev city of Sderot say their town is tottering on the brink of bankruptcy, Haaretz.com reported. Treasurer Shimon Peretz says that the cumulative deficit of the municipality stands at NIS 28 million. Mayor David Buskila and Peretz claim that the deficit is the result of the cessation in the flow of charitable donations to the municipality, which ceased with the flow of thousands of Qassam rockets which rained down from nearby Gaza for years.
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