A new study showcases the monetary benefits that Israel and Palestine could both gain if they came to a peace agreement, while noting that acts of hostility and violence would only harm the two nation’s economies.
The study, conducted by the RAND Corp., a non-profit research organization based in the United States, interviewed over 200 government officials during a two-year period, researching the financial costs of the eternal Israel-Palestinian battle. One of the highlights of the study is the monetary gains that Israel would make with a peace agreement with Palestine. In just one decade, Israel would gross $120 billion, with Palestine grossing near $50 billion, the Associated Press reported.
With a return to violence and war, Israel’s economy would be out $250 billion, while the gross domestic product (GDP) of Palestine would fall by 46 percent, a large strain on an already fragile economy.
“The point is to demonstrate that there is money on the table. There are big gains, and people don’t realize how big they are,” Charles Ries, vice president of RAND and one of the top researchers on the study, said to the New York Times in an interview.
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In their conclusion, RAND researchers created a “cost-of-conflict calculator,” that showcases results for different situations. For example, the calculator will factor in American aid to Israel, Israel’s defense budget, an Israel withdrawal from contested land areas such as the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and each nation removing their sanctions off the other.
The research project consisted of 228 pages, took two years to complete and cost $2 million. Other international research facilities, such as the Adva Center in Israel, also have conducted their own operations to promote the idea of a two-state system. In the report from the Adva Center, the research showed the “self-imposed economic burden” that Israel has put on itself by not agreeing to grant statehood to Palestine.
There may be more pressure on Israel to agree to some type of peace offering in the near future, with the recent financial report adding to the growing list. In May, the Vatican recognized Palestine as its own state in a peace treaty, further cementing the narrative in the international community.
The RAND teams are currently presenting their findings to officials in both Israel and Palestine, according to the Associated Press.
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