The White House revealed the economic part of its peace proposal for the Middle East conflict, which 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.
Unsurprisingly the PA has preemptively rejected this part of the deal despite its ability to address the real issues the Palestinians are facing. Representatives of the PA are saying that the US is trying to bribe them to back away from the political demands of Mahmoud Abbas.
PLO senior official Jibril Rajoub said that “the economic track is not a solution. Any plan that is not based on a political horizon and a political solution will achieve nothing. It all begins with the end of the occupation.”
Also, the leaders of the Palestinian Authority have strongly opposed the upcoming U.S.-sponsored Bahrain conference, where the economic phase of the Trump Administration’s peace plan will be officially unveiled. Palestinian leaders have also urged Arab countries to boycott the economic summit, arguing that it puts economic issues on the table before reaching a political solution to the conflict with Israel.