Valley of Peace initiative

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The Valley of Peace initiative is an effort to promote economic cooperation between Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians. It has received the personal attention and support of Shimon Peres, President of Israel. The initiative involves ongoing joint efforts by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to launch new industrial and economic projects, which will create new local businesses and job growth, and promote ongoing cooperation.

It also fits with other new trends and efforts within Israeli and Palestinian society to promote reconciliation based on joint economic effort and dialogue between both groups.

One major component of this plan is the construction and operation of Qualifying Industrial Zones. These are industrial facilities within Jordan and Egypt which can serve as centers of collaborative effort.

Project overview[edit]

The phrase "Valley of Peace" specifically refers to the Arava/Arabah Valley, along which runs the southern portion of the Israel - Jordan border. One major part of the plan includes the private sector development of a $3 billion, 166 km-long (103-mile) canal system along the Arava, known as the Two Seas Canal. This engineering scheme would bring Red Sea water to the Dead Sea and could provide additional projects and benefits to the region and increase cooperation between Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians, through greater development and economic integration.[1][2] Some environmentalists have criticized the plan, saying that rehabilitation of the Jordan River would be a better way to save the Dead Sea, and would bring less disruption.[3][4]

This Valley of Peace is part of a 20-kilometer [23-mile] corridor being proposed by Israeli President Shimon Peres for regional economic development. About 420 km of the corridor runs along the Jordanian border, with no border fences, and another 100 km touches on the Palestinian territories. Other projects involve the German, Japanese, and Turkish governments and are slated to create up to a million new jobs in Israel and the West Bank.[1]

Project contents[edit]

As first proposed, the plan encompasses a number of items. Some possible future developments along the canal may include convention centers, hotels for up to 200,000 people, restaurants, parks, and artificial lakes and lagoons, and greenhouses for winter fruits and vegetables. A high-speed train line and highway would run along the canal allowing travel between the Dead and Red Seas within an hour. The area may also become a free-trade zone, thus attracting investment from around the world.[1]

The canal might also include a major desalinization plant. In May 2008, it was announced that this project was getting close to being implemented.[1][5]

PIEFZA is a Palestinian economic organization designed to promote participation in the industrial parks which will be created by this effort.[6] The project will also include a number of other separate efforts and projects, including:

  • An industrial area in Jenin to create jobs, with support from Germany, which pledged about $30 million to help with this.[7] This would be used for businesses in the fields of textile, wood, and food products. A similar effort has already succeeded in the Jordanian industrial zone.[8][9]
  • The "Erez Industrial Estate" project - a free industrial zone near Erez crossing,[12][13] with support from Turkey. It will be supported through a joint effort by Turkish, Israeli and Palestinian private sectors, known as the Ankara Forum which will also pursue other common economic goals and industrial projects.[14][15] The project received the support of the Israeli, Turkish and Palestinian presidents during a trilateral summit in Ankara the previous November, according to an aide to Peres.[8]
  • A hi-tech industrial park in Nazareth by entrepreneur Stef Wertheimer, which will start construction in May 2010.[16] Wertheimer has stated, "Coexistence in the industrial park in Arab Nazareth is a good example of coexistence. When people work together, they have no time for nonsense. They're too tired at night to commit terrorist acts. They're satisfied, they engage in producing. They work together, not against each other." [17] Wertheimer has founded four industrial parks in Israel. "The idea of industrial parks in the Middle East and on the borders between Israel and its neighbors is that the parks will bring industry and provide jobs, which will keep people busy working, instead of engaging in terrorism," explains Wertheimer.[17] One park is the Tefen Industrial Park which includes everything from transportation to cultural and educational facilities.
  • A car factory to be operated jointly by Israel and Jordan. It would manufacture cars made by Toyota and Renault.[18]
  • an airport in Eilat shared by Jordan and Israel, which will facilitate future cooperation in tourism between the two countries. It would include a Jordanian terminal, for tourists to Jordan, and an Israeli terminal, leading tourism to Eilat.[9]
  • A railway connection between Jordan and Israel, which would facilitate shipments of goods between the two countries.[9]
  • Agro-industrial development in Jericho, enabling the region to be a major agricultural source for the Middle East. Japan has offered to aid in the development of this.[9]
  • A joint Israeli-Palestinian university and medical center. This effort would be led by Ali Dogramaci, a Turkish professor, and will be located on the Israeli side of the Green Line, between Afula and Jenin.[8] As of June 2009, the status of this project is in doubt due to some objections raised by some officials within the Israeli Government. However, the Turkish Government has given this effort some encouragement.[19]

Project planning[edit]

In July 2006, Japan announced a plan for peace called "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity," which would be based on common economic development and effort, rather than on continuous contention over land.[20] Shimon Peres gave this idea much attention during his participation in an international conference in New York in September 2006 which was organized by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.[21]

During this period, Turkey formed the Ankara Forum, a meeting process designed to promote cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. At this group's fourth conference in January 2007, Turkey asserted it would pursue a project to revitalize the Erez Industrial Park in the Gaza Strip.[22]

In March 2007, at a two-day conference in Tokyo which included officials from Japan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Japan discussed its plan for peace based on common economic development and effort. Both sides stated their support.[23]

In March 2007, the Israeli Cabinet officially decided to adopt the Peace Valley plan, which would entail promotion of and cooperation on economic development for Palestinians.[23][24][25] However, some news reports indicated there was little chance of movement due to lack of attention by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Government of Israel.[26]

In his inaugural speech in July 2007, Peres mentioned this effort, and asserted that there was great potential for cooperation among Israel, Palestinians, and Jordan. He also noted this might mean positive support from Persian Gulf states.[27] In August 2007, Peres met with several Israeli businessmen to discuss ways to press the plan forward.[28] Peres stated that the plan might have many positive effects which might help promote peace.[10]

In August 2007, Foreign Ministers of Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Japan met in Jericho, and formally agreed to go ahead with this plan.[29] A ceremony took place that month in Jericho formally launching the project. it was attended by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdul-Ilah Khatib.[30]

In January 2008, Peres announced that the plan had moved closer to realization, as new details were announced for implementation of joint economic effort in four locations in the West Bank. This included specific plans for industrial projects, and a jointly-built university, and investments from several countries, including Japan, Turkey and Germany.[8] Peres discussed this with Tony Blair during Blair's visit to the Mideast in February 2008.[31] Peres said that efforts were moving ahead.[32]

USAID and the World Bank have reviewed many of the specific proposals in depth, and issued a critique of many strengths and weaknesses of the plan.[33] In May 2008 Tony Blair announced a new plan for peace and for Palestinian rights, based heavily on the ideas on the Peace Valley plan.[34]

In May 2008, Peres hosted a conference in celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary, called "Facing Tomorrow." [35][36] He addressed numerous issues related to Israel's future. He discussed the Peace Valley initiative with numerous foreign leaders.[37] President George Bush expressed support for the idea.[38] Peres said that the inititative could bring lasting peace and transformation to the region. Regarding Palestinians, he said,

"They haven't established a proper government and they don't have an army. We can't unite them and we can't divide them. We can't help them politically. We can only help them economically. Today, it's possible to coordinate economic aid with both the Jordanians and the Palestinians." [37]

Local planning efforts, 2008-present[edit]

In March 2008, Israeli and Palestinian civil defense officials gathered for their first full official meeting in a decade, to discuss further coordination of efforts to further pursue this project.[39]

In May 2008, a major economic international conference was held in Bethlehem, at which various businessmen and local leaders discussed various opportunities for economic development. Several leaders addressed the conference, including the director of the World Bank.[40] The conference was sponsored by various international private companies and some public organizations.[41] Conference sessions covered many details of Palestinian Development. One agricultural entrepreneur noted that Israel is his biggest market, while others speakers noted the need for coordination with Israel to allow further development.[42]

One major part of the plan consists of a canal between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. In May 2008, Isaac Tshuva, an Israeli businessman, announced plans to launch this project. This would involves labor by both Israelis and Palestinians. It would also include a major desalinization plant.[1][5]

In July 2008, the Japanese government reiterated its support for the plan in meetings with Israelis and Palestinians, and urged the sides to continue working towards completion. Japan also indicated specific support for an agro-industrial park to be built near Jericho, and said it hopes to begin construction by 2009.[11][43]

Efforts at joint development and dialogue have also moved forward on the local level in the Jenin area, through ongoing contact between the Israeli Gilboa Regional Council and local Palestinian officials of the Jenin district. Groundbreaking on the Jenin project is hoped to occur by January 2009.[44]

The regional area of Gilboa and Jenin has a long history of cross-border cooperation.[45] In December 2008, community leaders from both sides of the border met to pursue cooperation on a variety of topics.[46]

Mejdi is a local grassroots Palestinian organization which was founded by Aziz Abu Sarah, a young Palestinian activist who seeks to advocate cooperation and reconciliation efforts. Mejdi's seeks to promote dialogue between ISraelis and Palestinians. one part of its peacemaking efforts is to promote local economic development, and strengthening of Palestinian small businesses.[47] Abu Sarah has been consistently involved in a range of workshops and efforts in which he has promoted greater efforts towards reconciliation and dialogue between individual Israelis and PAlestinians.[48]

In October 2008, the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement with the government of Germany, in which Germany donated 13 million euros to start work on the Jenin Industrial Estate.[49] Construction is expected to start by 2009.[50] In late 2008 efforts and discussions continued between local leaders on both sides of the border.[51]

In June 2009, after a meeting with World Bank President Robert Zoellick, the Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister, Silvan Shalom, announced a pilot project to build a "pilot" pipe 180 km long from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The pipe would pump 200 million cubic meters per year. Half of this would be desalinated for Jordanian consumption and half put into the Dead Sea.[52] Some experts questioned this project. Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Avner Adin said more studies were needed on the potential environmental impact.[53][54] However, various groups and government officials from several countries say that the pipeline is needed to save the Dead Sea, which may be in danger of drying up due to some environmental factors.[55]

In early 2010, Shimon Peres took an active and personal role in efforts to promote local business initiatives. Peres personally led a tour of top Israeli executives through the West Bank, and told them about many new Palestinian businesses which show much growth potential.[16] One company highlighted by Peres was the New Generation Technology incubator, a joint Jewish-Arab effort founded in 2002 which encourages new ideas and projects in technology and biotechnology.[56]

The Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2009. Its chairman is Eival Gilady, and its CEO is Ofir Gendelman. It has already held its first conference, at which Tony Blair was the keynote speaker. It is dedicated to promoting development of joint economic initiatives and businesses.[57]

In early 2010, the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) launched the first-ever Palestinian private equity fund, in order to raise $50 million to invest in Palestinian businesses. The PIF has a portfolio of about $800 million, and invests in projects such as housing and infrastructure. The PIF operates with its own board but reports to President Mahmoud Abbas. The new private equity fund will try to raise cash from investors to use to help small and medium-sized businesses. These enterprises employ about 85% of Palestinians and contribute to more than half the GDP in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but lack access to banks and capital markets.[58]

As of 2011, there are about 50 factories in the West Bank industrial region where Jews and Palestinians work together.[59]

Public statements[edit]

Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Finance Minister of Israel and the current Prime Minister of Israel has repeatedly made public statements during the 2009 Israeli elections which advocated an approach to peace based on economic cooperation and joint effort, rather than continuous contention over political and diplomatic issues.[60] He raised these ideas during discussions with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.[61] Netanyahu continued to advocate these ideas as the Israeli elections got nearer and plans to execute them after he assumed office.[62]

Netanyahu has said:

Right now, the peace talks are based only one thing, only on peace talks. It makes no sense at this point to talk about the most contractible issue. It's Jerusalem or bust, or right of return or bust. That has led to failure and is likely to lead to failure again....We must weave an economic peace alongside a political process. That means that we have to strengthen the moderate parts of the Palestinian economy by handing rapid growth in those area, rapid economic growth that gives a stake for peace for the ordinary Palestinians." [60]

Similarly, in a Jerusalem Post interview, Tony Blair, the special envoy for the Quartet, said in May 2009:

Question: ...we're hearing about a determination to build from the bottom up with the Palestinians, including assurances that economic projects that had been stymied will now be advanced...

Blair: ...you have to build from the bottom up as well as negotiate from the top down...because once you take the three "headings" - politics, economics and security... Each of these things take decisions...it will become apparent, whether Israelis are prepared to build from the bottom up, and whether Palestinians understand that Israel will only tolerate a Palestinian state that is a stable and secure neighbor...

...people ask me, why are you bothered about whether there's a bit of agri-industrial thing around Jericho. And I say, because it matters. The detail on the ground really matters. Just supposing you've [created the conditions] in the Jericho area to exploit the [tourism] potential it has got. You're creating a whole set of stake-holders who, when it comes to those difficult concessions, are going to say, "We want the state." They are then believing in a reality, not a shibboleth...[63]

Implementation and effects[edit]

The Bethlehem Small Enterprise Center opened in early 2008 with funding from Germany, and has helped Palestinian small businesses in various areas, such as helping printers to improve software and olive wood craftsmen to market their products.[64]

In 2008, the economy in the West Bank improved gradually. Economic growth for the occupied areas reached about 4-5% and unemployment dropped about 3%. Israeli figures indicated that wages in the West Bank rose more than 20% in 2008 and trade rose about 35%. Tourism in Bethlehem increased to about twice its previous levels, and tourism increased by 50% in Jericho.[64] In 2009, an economic boom began with growth reaching 7 percent, higher than in Israel or the West. Tourism to Bethlehem, which had doubled to 1 million in 2008, rose to nearly 1.5 million in 2009. New car imports increased by 44 percent. New shopping malls opened in Jenin and Nablus. Palestinian developers are planning to build the first modern Palestinian city, Rawabi.[65]

Olives of Peace is a joint Israeli-Palestinian business venture to sell olive oil. Through this project, Israelis and Palestinians have carried out joint training sessions and planning. It has also led to Palestinian oil production being enriched by Israeli ingredients.[66] It has produced olive oil which has been sold under the brand name "Olives of Peace."[67]

In 2009, efforts continued to build Palestinian local institutions and governments from the ground up. Much of this work was done by Tony Blair and U.S. General Keith Dayton. Some analysts saw this as a more substantial way to lay a groundwork for viable institutions and for local peace.[68]

Joint economic cooperation between Israeli officials in Gilboa and Palestinian officials in Jenin has begun to have major results and benefits. In October 2009, a new project got underway promoting tourism and travel between the two areas. Major new business efforts and tourist attractions have been initiated in Jenin.[69] The two regions are planning a joint industrial zone which would bridge the border. Palestinians would produce locally-made handicrafts and sell them through Gilboa to other regions of the world. Another possible project is a joint language center, where Israelis and Palestinians would teach each other Arabic and Hebrew, as well as aspects of their cultural heritage. [70]

Other joint economic efforts[edit]

A new computer company composed of both Israelis and Palestinians has received major press coverage in Western media, as a vital new example of joint effort between Israelis and Palestinians. The company G.ho.st has offices in both Modiin and Ramallah. Palestinians have benefited from large amounts of venture capital available through Israeli contacts. Israeli involvement began by benefiting from the labor costs and salary levels in Palestinian society, where various Israeli business have already outsourced some business. Over time, the project became a partnership, owing to a large number of new Palestinian college graduates who studied information science and needed new business opportunities.[71]

Investors as individuals and companies, such as Michael Eisenberg of Benchmark Capital have sought to invest funds based on G.ho.st's long-term goals to create a totally web-based computer environment, free of any need for traditional software applications. Another significant connection has been through Noa Rothman, granddaughter of Yitzchak Rabin, whose organization promotes joint dialogue.[71]

See also[edit]

Specific groups

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e A Mideast Valley of Peace, by Jennifer L. Schenker Businessweek article, May 29, 2008.
  2. ^ The Red Sea and the Mediterranean Dead Sea canals project Israel MFA website, 10 Aug 2002.
  3. ^ Environmentalists slam World Bank over Red-Dead canal By RORY KRESS, jpost.com, Aug 12, 2007.
  4. ^ Spiegel article, Sept 2007.
  5. ^ a b Dramatic new support for Red-Dead plan By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH, Jerusalem Post, May 16, 2008.
  6. ^ Piefza website details, also at Organization details at the group's website.
  7. ^ German cooperation with the Palestinian Territories: Economic reform and employment, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), official Germany government website, April 2007.
  8. ^ a b c d 'A valley of economic harmony by Yaakov Lappin, jpost.com, 1/18/08.
  9. ^ a b c d 'Valley of peace, - by Shimon Peres, posted Friday, August 10, 2007 on IsraCast.com.
  10. ^ a b Face Time with Shimon Peres, cnn.com, 12/3/07.
  11. ^ a b Press statement: The Third Ministerial-Level Meeting of the Four-Party Consultative Unit for the "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" Japan Min of Foreign Affairs, 2 July 2008, Tokyo.
  12. ^ A tripartite revitalization of Erez, Epri Director Güven Sak, Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey Jan 16, 2006.
  13. ^ “Ankara Forum” Efforts to Foster Economic Cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority Continue, World Trade Center Israel Ltd., Nov. 2005, viewed as HTML document.
  14. ^ Ankara Forum and ‘realpolitik’ lesson in Ankara…, acturca.wordpress.com/, 11/13/07.
  15. ^ Abbas adviser: 'not a word' written of joint statement by Yaakov Katz, jpost.com, 11/13/07.
  16. ^ a b Your guide today is... Shimon Peres, by Ron Friedman, Jerusalem Post, Jan 13, 2010.
  17. ^ a b Stef Wertheimer's New Middle East Israel21c, January 11, 2004
  18. ^ Israel, Jordan to build cars together, by IEICI, ynetnews.com, 05/30/07.
  19. ^ Why Israel's rejection of 'peace' hospital offer angered Turkey, by Akiva Eldar, Haaretz, 6/22/09.
  20. ^ Japan's Concept for Creating the Corridor for Peace and Prosperity (Background Paper) July, 2006, Government of Japan.
  21. ^ Peres to meet Musharraf and kings of Jordan, Morocco, Israel Today, 9/18/06.
  22. ^ Turkey and the Palestinian Question, Bülent Aras, World Bulletin at worldbulletin.net, January 24, 2009.
  23. ^ a b Israelis, Palestinians applaud Japanese development plan Associated Press via Haaretz.com, 3/15/07
  24. ^ Peres' 'Peace Valley' Project Approved, Arutz Sheva, israelnationalnews.com, Mar/11/07.
  25. ^ Gov't pushes Peres 'Peace Valley' plan, By Herb Keinon, jpost.com, Mar 11, 2007.
  26. ^ Border Control: $2.5 billion seeks government minister By Akiva Eldar, 06/11/2007.
  27. ^ Address to the Knesset by Shimon Peres on assuming the office of President of Israel, MFA website, 7/15/07.
  28. ^ President's office: Meeting with Israeli businessmen, Office of the President of Israel, 8/8/07.
  29. ^ Israel, Jordan, PA and Japan Launch 'Valley of Peace', Israel National news, 8/15/07.
  30. ^ 'Peace Valley' project ceremony takes place in Jericho, YNet News, 08.15.07.
  31. ^ Blair: PA economy boost will advance peace, By GREER FAY CASHMAN AND ITAMAR SHARON, jpost.com, Feb 6, 2008.
  32. ^ Israel to build Egypt border fence, By Herb keinon, Jerusalem Post, 2/6/08.
  33. ^ Stagnation or Revival ? Israeli Disengagement and Palestinian Economic Prospects, Report by Services Group, USAID and World Bank, at UNISPAL website.
  34. ^ Israel may ease grip in Tony Blair deal to revive West Bank, The Times May 14, 2008
  35. ^ Conference page, haaretz.com
  36. ^ 60th Independence guest list takes shape May 1, 2008 By GREER FAY CASHMAN, jpost.com May 1, 2008.
  37. ^ a b Peres looks forward to tomorrow, Greer Fay Cashman and David Horovitz , THE JERUSALEM POST May. 6, 2008.
  38. ^ Bush and Peres keep up optimism about peace, By GREER FAY CASHMAN, jpost.com May 15, 2008.
  39. ^ IDF coordinators meet with PA counterparts for first time in a decade, By YAAKOV KATZ Mar 18, 2008, jpost.com.
  40. ^ World Bank Sees Opportunities for Palestinian Investments, World Bank website. Accessed 2009-09-25.
  41. ^ Conference website.
  42. ^ Session notes, Conferenece website.
  43. ^ Japanese still solid on PA industry project ASSOCIATED PRESS, Jul 3, 2008, at jpost.com.
  44. ^ Encountering Peace: Creating a new reality on the ground, By GERSHON BASKIN, CEO of the Israel/Palestine Center for Research and Information, jpost.com Aug 4, 2008 .
  45. ^ The Search for Regional Cooperation: ‘Cooperation North’: A Model of Cross-Border Partnership, by Sharon Roling Vol. 7 Nos 1&2, 2000 Palestine-Israel journal.
  46. ^ West Bank project unites former foes, by Oakland Ross, thestar.com, Dec 04, 2008.
  47. ^ Mejdi website; Our Philosophy, accessed 12/25/09.
  48. ^ To Fatah and back, By LAUREN GELFOND FELDINGER, jpost.com, Nov 19, 2009.
  49. ^ Germany provides grant for Jenin industrial zone October 23, 2008
  50. ^ Joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial park to be built in north, Haaretz Service 9/8/2008.
  51. ^ West Bank project unites former foes, Oakland Ross, the star,com Dec 04, 2008.
  52. ^ Jpost article on Silvan Shalom announcement, jpost.com, 6/28/09.
  53. ^ Water expert: Red-Dead 'pilot' project could be premature, By EHUD ZION WALDOKS, Jun 28, 2009.
  54. ^ Jerusalem Post editorial, June 28, 2009
  55. ^ Dead Sea needs world help to stay alive by Ahmad Khatib, Agence france presse, 11/25/09.
  56. ^ http://www.ngtnazareth.com/about.asp, New Generation Technology (NGT) Company Profile.
  57. ^ Israeli-Palestinian Chamber of Commerce, Peres Center for Peace.
  58. ^ Selling a piece of Palestinian Main Street, by Edmund Sanders, The Los Angeles Times February 15, 2010. Original article. Posted at website of American Task Force on Palestine, Economic development news page.
  59. ^ Do West Bank Realities Defy Perceptions?, by Gary Rosenblatt, Jewish Week, Tuesday, January 25, 2011.
  60. ^ a b Economics, not politics, is the key to peace By Raphael Ahren, Haaretz, November 21, 2008.
  61. ^ Netanyahu offers new peace vision, Roni Sofer, 11/7/08, Israel News.
  62. ^ Netanyahu Holds Big Lead in Prime Minister Race Polls, By Leslie Susser, The Jewish Journal, February 2, 2009.
  63. ^ Blair: We've reached 'moment of truth', By DAVID HOROVITZ, jpost.com, May 10, 2009
  64. ^ a b Palestinians Work to Jolt West Bank Back to Life, By Isabel Kershner and Ethan Bronner, NY Times, December 24, 2008.
  65. ^ Can West Bank improvements hold in 2010?, By Leslie Susser, jta.org, January 11, 2010.
  66. ^ “Israel-Palestinian cooperation a decision that makes sense from the economic point of view”, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) a political foundations in Germany for Mideast dialogue and cooperation, Oct. 26, 2008.
  67. ^ New joint Israeli-Palestinian olive oil brand launched, Ynet news, Published: 03.20.07.
  68. ^ Building Palestine from the bottom up, by Shlomo Avineri, Welt Online, 5/18/09.
  69. ^ Jenin now open to Arab-Israeli and foreign tourists, By RON FRIEDMAN, jpost.com, 10/9/09.
  70. ^ Mutually assured prosperity, By RON FRIEDMAN, jpost.com, 10/15/09.
  71. ^ a b Israelis and Palestinians Launch Web Start-Up By DINA KRAFT, New York Times, May 29, 2008.

External links[edit]

Official websites[edit]

Media coverage and private sites[edit]

News coverage of individual sites and effort[edit]

  • Joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial park to be built in north, By Haaretz Service, 8/9/08. "A new joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial park will be built next year in the northern Gilboa region. It will cost $200 million and occupy some 350 acres of land, was approved on Monday by a joint Israeli-American committee, and will be built under the auspices of the US ambassador to Israel James Cunningham, the U.S. special envoy to the Mideast General James L. Jones and the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority Keith Dayton."
  • Israeli, Palestinian mayors pitch rare joint industrial project, By Gil Shefler, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, September 1, 2009. "The Jewish mayor of a region in northern Israel adjacent to the West Bank announced a plan with the governor of the West Bank city of Jenin for a joint industrial zone, coexistence projects and a sports league that would bring together the region’s Israeli and Palestinian children."
  • Israel-Palestine: third party industrial zones, Bitter Lemons blog website, 5/24/07.
  • Town on Israeli-Palestinian border finds a good balance, Inexpensive goods on the West Bank side of Barta’a attract many Israelis for shopping, By Linda Gradstein February 17, 2012. in Barta’a, Israelis and Palestinians mix freely. The town is legally divided, with West Barta’a inside Israel and East Barta’a in the West Bank. But there’s no physical barrier between the two sides, and East Barta’a has developed a thriving market of hundreds of small stores selling everything from coffee sets to sheets to food to special teddy bears for Valentine's Day.
  • Palestinians mull 'economic peace' plan, June 2013, BBC. Yolande Knell takes a look at the economic outlook for Palestinians. With talks between Israel and the Palestinians stalled, US Secretary of State John Kerry returns to the Middle East with the incentive of a major investment plan for the Palestinians, dependent on progress towards a peace deal. The plan could boost the struggling Palestinian economy, but there are some who fear it could come at the price of their political demands.