White House unveils 50bn dollar proposal for Palestinian economy






Washington -By Eliyahu Kamisher, - The White House on Saturday released an economic proposal that it says could generate 50 billion dollars in investment over 10 years for the Palestinian economy.

The framework also aims to generate 1 million Palestinian jobs over the time frame, though it includes no specific funding pledges.



 
It was announced days ahead of an upcoming investment conference in Bahrain, organized by the US administration to advance its upcoming Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
The long-awaited White House peace plan - led by President Donald Trump's adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and special envoy Jason Greenblatt - has already been rejected by Palestinians who say the administration is too unabashedly pro-Israel.
The Palestinian Authority government is boycotting the two-day Bahrain investment conference, scheduled for Tuesday.
Hanan Ashwari, a high-ranking member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, slammed the plan.
"First lift the siege of Gaza, stop the Israeli theft of our land, resources and funds, give us our freedom of movement and control over our borders, airspace, territorial waters etc," she said. "Then watch us build a vibrant, prosperous economy as a free and sovereign people."
The United Nations has previously bemoaned Israeli restrictions on the Palestinian economy, including movement restrictions and import bans, as a main factor contributing to Palestinian economic woes.
Kushner in a statement said Palestinians have been "trapped in inefficient frameworks of the past. The plan could spark "a brighter, more prosperous future for the Palestinian people and the region and a vision of what is possible if there is peace."
The White House called the plan "the most ambitious and comprehensive international effort for the Palestinian people to date."
The plan calls for grants, low-interest loans and private investments but does not clarify a source of funding for the investment and does not promise any US government assistance.
Among the framework's projects is the development of a transportation corridor between the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which remain separated by Israel.
Such a corridor has been floated in previous peace efforts but has run aground due to Israeli security concerns.
Other projects focus on improving infrastructure, tourism, agriculture and education projects for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and projects in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.
"It has the ability to fundamentally transform the West Bank and Gaza and to open a new chapter in Palestinian history - one defined not by adversity and loss, but by freedom and dignity," the White House said in its statement.
The Trump administration has upended decades of US policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and cutting aid.

Sunday, June 23rd 2019
By Eliyahu Kamisher,
           


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