- js reader version
- view hidden posts
- tags and related articles
by Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Thursday, May. 01, 2008 at 10:42 AM
Israel is under concerted international pressure to give swift agreement to specific measures to improve Palestinian life. Israel is criticized for not doing more to boost the Palestinian economy.
This article was published in: The Independent 4/30/2008.
Israel told to tackle West Bank plight
By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Israel is coming under concerted international pressure to give swift agreement to specific measures to improve Palestinian life in the West Bank which senior diplomats believe could eventually make or break negotiations between the Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas.
Efforts are under way to persuade Israel to agree ahead of President Bush's visit in just over two weeks' time to relaxing a series of restrictions on the Palestinian economy and testing the Ramallah-based authority's ability to take more responsibility for security in parts of the West Bank.
Israel is expected to face sharp criticism at Friday's international donors' conference in London for not doing more to boost the Palestinian economy after circulation of a World Bank paper reporting zero growth in 2007 and arguing that that the "contributing effects of the closures and movement restrictions cannot be overestimated".
While the growth levels are compounded by the near total collapse of Gaza's economy, the World Bank paper also emphasises the marked increase since 2005 of checkpoints and roadblocks in the West Bank. The proposals now being urged on Israel include the removal of checkpoints in the West Bank itemised in a detailed list submitted to Israel two weeks ago by Tony Blair, as international Middle East envoy, as well as easing the remaining restrictions in the way of completing the economic development and industrial park projects also earmarked by Mr Blair. The Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, has yet to give his formal response to the checkpoint list.
But discussion within the international Quartet of the US, EU, UN and Russia is also focusing on the prospect of designating a pilot area of the West Bank in which Palestinian forces trained with US assistance in Jordan would take full responsibility for security, including the curbing of armed factions.
One possible location is the northern West Bank city of Jenin, widely canvassed for the first intake of 600 to 700 security personnel trained by the US and Jordan. The battalion is envisaged as the first of five or six which the US would like to see in the West Bank.
Diplomats are also pressing Israel to lift severe restrictions on Palestinian development in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank, where Israel retains full control, and where the World Bank paper charges that "obtaining permits for projects... whether for private, humanitarian or developmental purposes is time consuming if not unattainable."
According to accounts of a donor meeting in Ramallah last week to prepare for the London conference, delegates including the American USAID representatives, argued that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayad, and donors were largely playing their part in realising progress envisaged at Annapolis last year.
At the same time they endorsed the broad implication of the World Bank paper that a key obstacle in achieving "the virtuous cycle" of Palestinian economic growth designed to boost the negotiating process was Israel's reluctance to relax restrictions on Palestinian movement and access to markets.
Gordon Brown is expected to speak at the London conference of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee members who include the US, EU, UN, Russia, Israel, Canada, Norway, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
While donations from the $7.7bn pledged at the Paris conference co-chaired by Mr Blair earlier this year have so far been coming in on schedule, there remains a potential shortfall specifically for budget support of around $400m from July. Some donors from the Arab world may well argue on Friday that meeting this shortfall will be conditional on the easing of restrictions by Israel, including on Gaza.
Report this post as:
Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A.
Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released
Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups
Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights
Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down
Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29
Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf
Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development
Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine
Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents
Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters
City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre
Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling
Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present
Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police
LA Times Homicide Report
Last of California's nuclear power plants is on its way out
Patrisse Khan-Cullors explains why Black Lives Matter
Women's March L.A., 2018
The case for US government sanctions on Israel
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 4
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 3
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 2
Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 1
Women's Political Representation & Electoral Reform
Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers
Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents
Great solidarity action today
More Local News...
La révolution psychologique
The Shortwave Report 03/23/18 Listen Globally!
OBEY Clothing Partner with Children Incorporated
5 Questions on Tax Justice
Paraphysique de domination/scotomisation
legal blog - police surveillance
FBI Tracked Activists Involved With Black Lives Matter as They Travelled Across the U.S.
Important report on fbi atrocities
Questions for TSA after reports of laptop and phone searches on domestic flights
No, Robert Mueller And James Comey Aren’t Heroes
Baltimore cops and the rotten core of policing
Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert!
Six Months After Maria, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Wait for Relief
Trump - Hard as Steel
Paraphysique de l'hologramme
Fbi crimes and cover-up by local authorities
what does a mexican driver's license look like?
One Way to Respond to Foreign Ops in Our Elections
Stratégie onirique du coup du monde
Tour Announcement: Whole Milk's California Cruising Tour 2018
50 years have passed since the Kerner & McCone Commissions
Crash on the Horizon
Caribbean Religious Leaders Call for Debt Relief in Face of Disasters
America's judiciary is in collapse
Under the Gun in Ireland
The Shortwave Report 03/16/18 Listen Globally!
Travail de l'idéologie
Crisis 2.0: A Policy for the 99%
More Breaking News...