Poverty in Palestine's territories could surge by 45 percent, or some 660,000 people, if the conflict between the militant group Hamas and Israel continues for its third month, according to a recent U.N. Development Program projection.
The third month of the war could see the total poverty rate in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip increase to 38.8 percent from 26.7 percent of the population, a report by the UNDP and the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia showed. Palestine has an aggregate population of 5.5 million.
In such a scenario, Palestine's gross domestic product would also drop 12.2 percent, or $2.5 billion.
The report, titled "Gaza War: Expected Socioeconomic Impacts on the State of Palestine," was released earlier this month in the wake of a surprise attack Oct. 7 by Hamas on Israel, which responded with large-scale retaliatory bombardments of Gaza, a Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave.
The humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip has deteriorated amid fierce air and ground military operations carried out by Israel.
"This assessment alerts us that the impacts of this war will also have long-lasting effects and will not be confined to Gaza," UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said in the report.
"The war is rapidly accelerating poverty in a population already vulnerable before this crisis hit," he added.