Israel will face a challenge getting the economy back on track after the war is over, but the ‘startup nation’ is nothing if not resourceful.
At the start of the month, MK Ofer Shelah – a member of the Knesset Finance Committee, told Reuters that Operation Protective Edge was “definitely going to cost more than NIS 10 billion ($2.9 billion).”
The loss of summer tourism income was projected to be more than NIS 2.2 billion, including some NIS 500 million from empty rooms at hotels. Many tourists canceled trips within the country due to missile attacks; foreign airlines canceled flights for several days due to the FAA flight ban that followed a single rocket aimed at a town near the airport.
Likewise, the Israel Manufacturers’ Association estimated drop in production at some NIS 820 million. The figure results from workers staying home due to missile attacks, due to others being called up for reservist duty, leading to a loss in production, and from damage to factories in missile attacks.
However, Michael Sarel, former chief economist at the Finance Ministry, was optimistic. He pointed out that “if it will be completely quiet” as it was after the last three operations were over, “the economy has proved it is quite resilient to these kinds of shocks and the impact will be only one quarter.”