Articles, Politics

The possibility of development in the Palestinian Authority’s territories under occupation.

By Haneen Sameeh Qarawi – PhD Political Science Student in Turkey.

The signing of the Oslo agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli occupation in the year of (1993) set out to be a very big challenge to the Palestinian people, who had very high hopes as a result of this agreement. These hopes included positive changes to people’s lives. However, due to the lack of implementation of the agreement from the Israeli side, the outcomes were very disappointing instead, in particular for the Palestinians who still live in the areas under Israeli occupation security control, or those living under the Palestinian Authority’s control in Area A.

Looking at the security level, the situation remained as it was prior to the signing of the agreement; as the successive Israeli governments allowed their military forces to break into any Palestinian areas and carry out security operations, including the areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Thus, breaking the agreement, whilst the party who sponsored the agreement (the Quartet) did not hold Israel to account or put an end to the Israeli violations.

Regarding the political aspect, Israel continues to practice its role as an occupying force in Palestine, through pure occupying policies, disregarding the Palestinian people’s right to establish their independent state on the boarders of June 4th (1967). Israel also continued to follow policies that would hinder the two state solution through the ongoing confiscation of land and building settlements on land that was for the Palestinian state to be; it is important to mention that illegal settlement construction doubled and tripled comparing to how it was before signing the peace agreement.

Israel also continues to follow the policy of restricting the movement of people and goods between the areas of the Palestinian state, it collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinian government and deducts commissions for doing so that are estimated to be hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It deducts what it chooses to under the pretext and reasons that have no grounds, such as deducting an equal value to what the Palestinian government gives to the families of martyrs, injured and detainees of Palestinian families. It also deducts what it claims the Palestinian citizens owe to the occupation state, such as traffic tickets, taxes, water and electricity costs and more.

The economic development procedure remains, however, to be the sector that has been damaged the most as a result to this situation. Israel purposefully and continuously obstructs the economic procedure, thus stopping the Palestinian economy from progressing and flourishing.

Israel controls the movement of (%92) of between the governorates of Palestine or with the neighboring countries, because of its control of the boarders and entry points, thus debilitating export and monopolizing the Israeli market through keeping the Palestinian economy dependent on the Israeli economy.

Israel also opposes establishing a Palestinian airport, blockades Gaza to debilitate the port in order to cut off any connection with the outside world, and it opposes having a Palestinian currency to exchange in Palestinian markets, in addition to many other procedures that stand as an obstacle from effective development programs.

The results and conclusions

  1. The Palestinian development programs face big internal and external difficulties that stand in the way of any national development experience.
  2. The Palestinian economy is completely dependent on the Israeli economy.
  3. The Palestinian economy relies heavily on external aid.
  4. The Quartet has no credibility in its sponsorship of the peace process between the PLO and Israel, as Israel did not commit and the Quartet did not hold it to these commitments.
  5. The Palestinian Authority is not bold enough to announce a one sided disengagement from the Israeli occupation in response to Israel evading the entitlements to the peace process, as it is unreasonable for the Palestinian Authority to fully comply, while the other party does not.
  6. We conclude from what has been mentioned above that Palestinian development programs falter exclusively due to political reasons, as it is impossible for any development programs to succeed in the presence of the Israeli occupation, which undermines the pillars of the Palestinian economy by adopting a policy that is very racist, which in turn allows for Israeli companies to monopolize the Palestinian market on the one hand, and exploiting those companies for Palestinian labor with cheap wages and humiliating conditions on the other.