One of the most problematic legacies inherited by the Palestinian Authority is the poor state of basic physical infrastructures, resulting from decades of minimal investment and poor maintenance. Compared with neighbouring countries, these infrastructures are underdeveloped, thus perpetuating poor and deteriorating productive activities and public services.
The Palestinian Authority has launched a comprehensive programme to rehabilitate physical infrastructures and social services in the territory under its jurisdiction. In these areas, major constraints on greater achievements have been largely external, including repeated destruction of Palestinian infrastructure, limited areas of land and water resources under the Palestinian Authority jurisdiction, and the elevated uncertainties facing any attempt by the Palestinian Authority at long-term development planning.
The period since late September 2000 has also seen the destruction by Israeli military forces of buildings and basic public infrastructures, including the Gaza International Airport near Rafah and the site for the proposed deep-water seaport five kilometres south of Gaza City.
Moreover, Palestinians rely on Israel for obtaining electricity, and Palestinian electricity networks operate in poor conditions. The networks are poorly maintained, owing to the lack of adequate facilities and technical expertise, causing significant losses in electrical power and exaggerated consumer tariffs. Palestinian villages in the West Bank that are far from Israeli grids are particularly affected, as services from Israel are often interrupted.