(Adds quotes from IMF deputy spokesman)
WASHINGTON, July 24 Israel and Gaza are already
facing economic costs from the fighting between them that has
raged for the past two weeks, a spokesman from the International
Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
The fiscal cost to Israel is estimated at 0.2 percent of its
gross domestic product, though that number could increase if the
fighting continues for long, IMF deputy spokesman William Murray
said, citing figures from "various sources."
He said the Israeli economy, especially the tourism industry
and small and medium-sized firms, has also been hit, and GDP
growth could slow further if the conflict continues.
"However, we need to make clear that once the conflict ends,
we expect growth in Israel to rebound relatively quickly,"
He added that without donor aid, Palestinian authorities
will not be able to afford to reconstruct infrastructure and
buildings after the conflict ends.
"Heavy damage to buildings, water and electricity
infrastructure is already apparent, aggravating an already
critical humanitarian situation (in Gaza)," Murray said.
"Absent additional donor financing, the Palestinian
Authority does not have fiscal room to take on this additional
burden (of reconstruction)."
(Reporting by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W