By Dr. Haneen Qarawi
There is no doubt that the signing of the Oslo accords in (1993) between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli occupation government should have led to the establishment of the independent state of Palestine with full sovereignty over its occupied lands of (1967) which make up only (%22) of historic Palestine’s land. According to this accord, and following the establishment of the Palestinian state, this would have given it complete control over its economic resources, and implementing effective development programs, and building a strong Palestinian economy.
However, due to Israel not committing to the peace obligations and stalling the implementation of the agreements, the state of Palestine was denied control over the economic resources, the Palestinian economy still fully dependent on the Israeli economy.
Israel prohibits the Palestinian Authority from using its own resources to build a national economy separate from the Israeli economy, in order for the Israeli market to keep monopolizing the Palestinian market. The Palestinian government cannot take any procedures that would allow it to make use of the Palestinian economic resources. Israel continues to reserve the right to use water resources in the Palestinian state lands, drilling for ground water and extracting it for drinking or agricultural purposes requires an Israeli water authority license, which are always denied (Abu Seif, 104:2009).
Israel also has complete control over the supply of agriculture income generating elements such as fertilizers, medicine and seeds, which can only be supplied through the occupation state, as it controls the boarders and entry points, prevents Palestinian companies from importing unless done through Israeli companies. Israel aims to keep the Palestinian agriculture sector weak through this so as to not compete with Israeli agriculture.
Israel also imposes strict procedures for industrial projects, as it controls imports and exports through the borders thus preventing any such projects from existing and employing Palestinians, which Israel takes advantage of in its own companies, subjecting them to humiliating conditions and low pay. In addition, Israel does not wish for a national product that would replace that of its own, which invade the Palestinian market (Al Sabagh, 85:2013).
Furthermore, and driven by not wanting any economic development programs to see the light in the state of Palestine, it deliberately floods the Palestinian markets with Israeli products and goods of competitive prices, in order to kill any ambitions for executing development projects. For example, when the Palestinian government succeeded to convince investors to bring projects for providing the Palestinian market’s need of meat and dairy, Israel flooded the Palestinian market with very low price products to harm and remove the Palestinian investors from the market (Palestinian Ministry of Economy publications, 2015).
Generally, it can be said that the Palestinian government is losing control over the economic resources, and it cannot use those sources without the permission of the occupation. For despite signing peace agreements, there is no control over the boarders and entry points, no possibility to import and export with the world, and the occupation forces can prevent the establishment of any project under the pretext of security reasons. In addition, occupation forces are spread out on the roads thus monitoring movement and between the different areas within the state of Palestine.