One major problem and several interesting elements in White House Economic
Plan for Palestinians
Dr. Aaron Lerner 22 June 2019
The text of PEACE TO PROSPERITY THE ECONOMIC PLAN: A NEW VISION FOR THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE has just been released by the The White House
One major problem: "Additional investment will finance the development of a
transportation corridor directly connecting the West Bank and Gaza through a
major road and, potentially, a modern rail line. These improvements will
reduce the complications of travel for Palestinians and remove impediments
that delay or prevent goods from reaching end markets by directly connecting
population centers and easing barriers to movement."
If the program was to integrate the West Bank and Gaza Strip into the
Israeli rail system to efficiently move cargo between the two locations and
beyond that would be fantastic. There's a right of way for a rail line
through Erez Crossing and the construction of a new rail line complete with
a terminal has been working its way through the Israeli planning approval
system and Israel also has detailed plans for extending rail service within
the West Bank.
It is conceivable to have some kind of arrangement for passenger trains as
well - subject to security arrangements and also subject to dramatic changes
in the Gaza Strip so that the link isn't exploited to move terrorists
between Gaza and the West bank.
BUT a major road between the West Bank and Gaza Strip is out of the question
as this means creating a corridor that splits Israel in half. Yes, there is
a reference to such an arrangement in the Oslo Agreements, but we are a lot
more realistic today.
Some neat things:
#1. "This program will support the development of state-of-the-art
industrial zones...Part of the funding provided by this project will be
dedicated to the development of joint facilities with neighboring
Set up a series of state-of-the-art industrial zones adjacent to Israel
that are joint facilities with Israel and you have a SURE WINNER!!!
And this can be done IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT THE COOPERATION OF THE PA. The
Palestinian business community will eagerly join in regardless of what the
#3. "This project will encourage the construction of new infrastructure to
facilitate trade and transportation across the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan,
Egypt, Israel, and Lebanon. From the improvement of neighboring countries’
airports and seaports to the development of a regional natural gas trading
Excellent that the plan does not get involved in Palestinian airports and
#4. This funding will be linked to a series of reforms that will put
Palestinian municipalities on a path toward independently funding and
sustainably providing public services.
Excellent that the plan promotes delinking the Palestinian municipalities
from financial dependence on the PA.
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