Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to U.S. President Donald Trump, called his Middle East peace plan the “opportunity of the century” for the Palestinians.
Kuhner opened the economic conference in Bahrain by noting that many attempts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have failed, demonstrating that a new approach is needed and that his economic proposal “Peace for Prosperity” is the way forward.
He also made it very clear that any further progression will not happen if the Palestinians do not accept this part of the deal.
“Agreeing on an economic pathway forward is a necessary precondition to resolving the previously unsolvable political issues,” Kushner said.
However, Kushner did indicate during his address that a political solution is needed to implement the economic plan.
“To be clear, economic growth and prosperity for the Palestinian people are not possible without an enduring and fair political solution to the conflict. A solution that guarantees Israel’s security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people,” he said.
The president’s son-in-law stressed, “My direct message to the Palestinian people is that despite what those who have let you down in the past say, President Trump and America have not given up on you.”
The White House revealed earlier this week the economic part of its peace proposal for the Middle East conflict. It essentially consists of $50 billion to go towards the real needs of the Palestinian people.
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.