Israel Reportedly Planning To Boost Palestinian Economy


Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s Minister of Finance, is reportedly set to present Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a plan to increase the country's financial aid to Palestine.

The plan's economic initiatives are the result of several meetings between Kahlon and Shukri Bishara, Palestine’s Finance Minister. Kahlon and Bishara met for the third time on Feb. 18, Al-Monitor reports.

“I think that it is possible to advance economic issues and help change the lives of the Palestinians,” Kahlon said to Al-Monitor. "This is not some lofty goal. It’s entirely possible."

Kahlon reportedly said these initiatives are part of an attempt to establish trust between the two countries. This would be a big step for both Israel and Palestine, since tensions have been high after a wave of Palestinian terror attacks in 2015.

However, Israeli officials also said the economic measures are meant as a gesture to the U.S., as Netanyahu previously assured U.S. President Barack Obama that Israel would put more energy into stimulating Palestine’s economy, The Times of Israel reports.

These new initiatives would affect a wide range of industries in Palestine, from healthcare to construction.

If Netanyahu moves forward with the plan laid out by the two Ministers of Finance, more Palestinian companies, especially those within the construction sector, will be allowed to have bases on Israeli soil. Furthermore, Palestinian laborers will be allowed to work for these Palestinian companies within Israel instead of only being allowed to work for Israeli companies. 

Palestinian professionals will also be able to train in Israeli facilities and will have access to Israeli technology, which is generally more advanced. 

Giving these workers access to more advanced technologies will reportedly help them to be more equipped during times of conflict. Doctors, for example, will be more qualified to help the injured.

Palestine has yet to comment on the proposed initiatives, the Times of Israel notes.

Sources: The Times of Israel, Al-Monitor / Photo Credit: Cherie Cullen/Wikimedia Commons, Western Journalism

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