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Intifada to Cost Israel $1-1.5 Billion

If the Palestinian uprising continues until the end of the current year, damage to the Israeli economy could reach $1 billion - $1.5 billion according to Deputy Director for Economics of the Ministry of Finance, Vered Dar, YEDIOT AHARANOT reported. She noted that the construction, agriculture and tourism industries have been hit particularly hard.

In addition, Dar said that if the Nasdaq Composite Index, on which close to 100 Israeli companies are listed, continues to fall, damage caused by both the security situation and the slowdown affecting U.S. and European capital markets may amount to $3 billion in 2001. These figures do not include excess expenditures for the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police. Dar reiterated her belief that Israel's economy is influenced more by the U.S. slowdown than the renewed Palestinian violence.

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