A new study published by the American research organization RAND has found that Israelis could save 120 billion dollars and Palestinians 50 billion dollars throughout the next decade if a two-state solution were to be achieved.
The study examined the expected costs of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict throughout the next decade according to five possible scenarios, in comparison to the continuation of the status quo. All scenarios presented substantial economic growth, as opposed to the damage that will continue to afflict the societies if a solution is not reached.
According to the presented data, the Israeli economy could gain over 120 billion dollars if an agreement was reached whereby Palestinians were to establish an independent state in exchange for normalization of relations between Israel and its neighbors. Meanwhile, GDP per capita in Palestinian Authority territories could rise by 36%.
In addition to the scenarios of a two-state solution versus a return to the cycle of violence, RAND also examined three other alternative scenarios – a coordinated unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, an uncoordinated Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank without the cooperation of the Palestinians, and non-violent Palestinian resistance.
The ramifications of a unilateral withdrawal were found to be dependent on the level of coordination – if Israel were to coordinate the withdrawal with the Palestinians and international community the move would only have minor implications for the Israeli economy, while an uncoordinated withdrawal would impose heavy financial expenses on Israel in order to transfer settlers from the West Bank, estimated at 20 billion dollars.
In the event of non-violent Palestinian resistance, a scenario which some observers to the region claim has already begun with the international BDS movement, Israel could lose 80 billion dollars and Palestinians 12 billion dollars in comparison with the continuation of current trends.