Agnes von der Mühll

Agnes von der Mühll, the spokeswoman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has said that France will only back a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The spokeswoman said that ”France is committed to a framework, that of international law, especially Security Council resolutions, to a method, negotiation, a goal, two states – Israel and Palestine – living in peace and security within recognized borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of these two states.”

”We are ready to support any economic plan in favor of the Palestinian Territories as it intervenes in a complementary manner to political efforts on the basis of these internationally agreed parameters,” she said.

Last week President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, presented in Bahrain in the presence of international economic officials, an exclusively $50 billion economic plan to revitalize a chronically-crippled Palestinian economy.

The plan seeks to double the gross domestic product (GDP) of Palestinians, create approximately one million jobs for Palestinians, reduce unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza from 30 percent to single digits, and halve the percentage of poverty among the Palestinian population.

The Trump Administration wants to raise a good chunk of these funds from Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon as part of its plan. According to the White House report, $15 billion of the total $50 billion investment will come from grants, $25 billion in the form of subsidized loans and approximately $11 billion from private capital.

The money contributed by the US and these donor countries will finance 179 economic projects in areas such as infrastructure, water, energy, telecommunications, tourism, and medical services. Of that total, 147 of the projects will be for the West Bank and Gaza, 15 for Jordan, 12 in Egypt and five in Lebanon.

The proposal includes tens of millions of dollars that will be allocated to connect Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula for infrastructure – such as upgrading high-voltage lines and increasing electricity supply – and trade.

The plan includes the construction of a five billion dollar pathway such a road or possibly a railroad between the West Bank and Gaza. It also seeks to inject 950 million dollars in the tourism industry for the Palestinians.

This optimism is not shared by all Arab nations. Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab countries to have signed a peace agreement with Israel. Whether they are willing to use their political leverage to convince the Palestinians and the rest of the Arab states remains to be seen.

Oman took their disdain for Kushner’s plan by announcing its intention to open an embassy in the West Bank.