Moreover, whereas consumerism and materialism largely characterise Ramallah nowadays, the southern West Bank is still known for its strong communal and social cohesion, which could be the foundation for building a stronger economy. These new economic interactions involve the hotel, tourism, and restaurant sector; the retail trade sector; the professional services sector, especially health services; financial, accounting, and legal services; and transit transport services. It is estimated that the total current value of goods and services purchased from northern West Bank markets by Palestinians living in Israel amounts to NIS 1.
Given that there are several Palestinian economies, is there a single strategy to boost them? Furthermore, they have all been strangled by the same Israeli hermetic system of physical, institutional, and administrative impediments. The apartheid Wall, fixed and flying checkpoints, earth mounds, trenches, permit requirements, etc.
NORRAG – Post Education Planning under Occupation: A View from Palestine - NORRAG -
Thinking within this framework, the decolonisation of Palestinian economies becomes the key to achieving economic advance. More specifically, the cornerstone of this strategy should be to resist land occupation and dependency on the Israeli economy. Moreover, enhancing the agricultural sector would foster Palestinian productive capacity and disengage it from the stranglehold of the Israeli economy.
It would thus facilitate the transformation of Palestinian society from a consumerist to a productive one, and ensure the achievement of food security. Furthermore, as a labour-intensive sector, agriculture has the ability to generate jobs, especially for those who cannot work in other sectors because of lack of education and skills. The industrial sector should also be enhanced in order to foster local production and achieve self-sufficiency and self-reliance. Hence, in the short term, we should focus on promoting industries that are the most profitable socially and economically.
In other words, we should expand competitive industries that create employment and produce goods that use inputs that are the least dependent on the Israeli market. The suppression of the flow of goods between Palestinian and Israeli markets is equally important to boost the Palestinian economies and develop their productive capacity. The PNA, local communities, and the private sector should play a crucial role in this regard by giving preferential treatment to Palestinian investors; developing trade fairs to foster trade and investment links; improving municipal services for Palestinian visitors from Israel; organising awareness campaigns about Palestinians in Israel and those in the West Bank to address misconceptions the they have of each other and to fill the leadership gap between the two areas, etc.
Equally important is the strengthening of economic links between the economies of the West Bank on the one hand, and those in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, on the other hand. Attention should thus be given to education, capacity-building, and social mobilisation. This article was published in the January issue of This Week in Palestine.
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Please check individual images for licensing details. Projects Close Close Please type and press enter Submit. North Africa, West Asia. Nur Arafeh. Share this Share on Twitter. Share on Facebook. Share via email. Share link. The question remains, is this kind of labour considered decent? Only Not to mention that 36 percent of workers are paid below the minimum wage of 1, ILS. Development should be directed to the productive sectors, since they are most capable of attracting working forces. Depending on the private sector in the past two decades to generate growth and create job opportunities has radically failed.
However, the image of education, teachers and students has been deteriorating in recent years. In Palestine, public education is free until grade Thereafter students pay small enrollment fees for public and UN Relief and Work Agency UNRWA schools which provide education to Palestinian refugees , while tuition fees at civil and private schools range from middle to high. Yet, the movement was squashed by the government and security forces, and an affiliated leadership by the presidency was imposed on the movement to carry on the dialogue. The fact that education expenditure increased to Yet any increase in expenditure is usually allocated to construction, salary increases and new appointments; meaning that they are not directed to developing the educational process.
Development expenditures represent only 18 percent of the budget, while 66 percent is allocated to salaries and wages, meaning any development initiatives will be driven by international donor agencies and associated agendas. Additionally, the declining quality of education in terms of integrating and accommodating students with disabilities is widely recognized, since different supervising authorities fail to integrate and accommodate these students in their schools.
Even with available funding for school construction in vulnerable areas, the restrictions imposed by the Occupation hinder development of quality education.
Despite increasing numbers of higher education graduates and increasing unemployment rates in Palestinian society, the Ministry of Education faces shortages of teachers in certain areas due to movement restriction. This is the case in Jerusalem, which has faced the worst cases of assaults, oppression and injustice, which negatively affected its residents, and mostly affected students, teachers and parents.
On-going restrictions on movement have also affected the Gaza Strip, given the stacking and overcrowding of residents in this small geographic area. That said, the availability of funds and budget allocations are in any case inadequate to address the lack of equality and quality of education. But, the size of these drawbacks becomes more complicated with a system of two shifts the same management running morning and evening shifts ; 70 percent of UNRWA schools and 63 percent of public schools operate two shifts.
In some cases schools operate three shifts to respond to the increase in the number of enrolled children, due to shortages of schools and classrooms. There is evident deterioration in the quality of education, increase in drop-out numbers, and later lack of justice in the labour market. Not to mention the absence of clear government policies concerning promoting steadfastness of Jerusalemites, Bedouins and refugees.
Despite connecting 96 percent of residential areas with public water distribution networks, we observe irregular water supply and access. As a result of these practices, most Palestinians are living on less than the minimum water consumption recommended by the World Health Organization, which is liters per day per person, as the average Palestinian that is connected to distribution networks only consumes 70 liters per day.
Also, the consumption might be less in some areas in the West Bank to reach 38 liters per day, as is the case in Jenin Governorate. At the same time, the coastal aquifer, which supplies most of its water to Gaza, is subject to excessive pumping of three times its capacity, resulting in contamination with sea water and untreated sewage. It is worth mentioning that one of the implications of control of water resources is the transformation of Palestinian agricultural patterns.
For instance, rain-fed agriculture has increased on account of irrigated agriculture, which threatens Palestinian food security.
Program of the Salam Fayyad Government
Also, transformations in agriculture patterns resulting from shifting to palm tree cultivation and increasing palm farms. The Palestinian territories face a complex water crisis, as residents receive less water than the internationally recommended share and most Palestinians residing in the Gaza Strip consume contaminated water. Not to mention that the occupation controls most drinking water resources, ground wells and prevents any project from accessing water resources and prohibits well construction. Cities and sustainable communities: Is sustainability possible under occupation? While SDG 11 aims at making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, the Agenda failed to mention independence and national liberation in order to reflect a context in which a society faces settler military occupation.
This recognition is needed to relate SDG 11 to the singularity of the Palestinian context. Residential communities are divided into urban, rural and refugee camps, also the occupied Palestinian territories in are divided into the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to roads, checkpoints and the Apartheid Wall, the West Bank is fragmented into smaller lands and ghettos to which the Occupation controls all entrances and exits and affiliated security companies, not to mention that Jerusalem is completely separated from the West Bank and all types of connections were weakened between Palestinians residing in Jerusalem and those elsewhere.
The Gaza Strip has been under blockade for more than a decade. Despite its small area, the Israeli Occupation set up a buffer zone over more than 1, meters along its eastern border, thus controlling about 24 percent of the total area of Gaza Strip km2.
Jerusalem is under occupation and is separated and isolated from the rest of the West Bank cities. In , the Israeli Occupation demolished buildings houses and establishments , 46 percent of them in Jerusalem; forcibly displacing households persons in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, half of them children. They also issued demolition orders for 1, buildings in Jerusalem and the West Bank in , at a time when the needs of housing units for Palestinians increase.
According to housing conditions survey data, 61 percent of households in Palestine need to build new housing units over the next decade one residential unit or more. At the same time as the Israeli Occupation demolishes Palestinian buildings, and put obstacles and impediments to the issuance of building permits, they approve licenses to construct thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements on the Palestinian land of Jerusalem. In , the Israeli occupation intensified settlement expansion in the West Bank, ratifying the construction of 16, new housing units, one third of which in Occupied Jerusalem.
The policy of annexation and isolation of Palestinian communities derives its strength from the military orders that exploit the Palestinians and confiscate their lands. The Israeli occupation approved the confiscation of about 2, dunams of Palestinian land during , as well as the confiscation of hundreds of dunams through the expansion of Israeli roadblocks and the establishment of military checkpoints to protect the settlers, in addition to renewed orders to seize dunams of Palestinian land in the West Bank.
The Israeli measures are one of the main reasons for the decline in agricultural land in the West Bank. While the Palestinian Authority has no housing-oriented programme, particularly housing for poor and middle classes and young people planning to start a family. The Palestinian cities and built-up areas suffer from Occupation policies that work on demolition, confiscation, fragmentation, and isolation. Jerusalem as well suffers from demolition and continuing Judaization, and stealing and appropriating Palestinian culture.
Vast areas of the West Bank are under direct military control. According to international reports the Gaza Strip became inhabitable due to the continued blockade. This will contribute to building prospects and hope for future generations, not to mention realizing development, prosperity and to live in dignity and freedom. Resolving the issue of unemployment requires a package of solutions, primarily lifting the siege of the Gaza Strip and opening all crossings, so citizens can travel and basic supplies can be provided.
It would be more feasible to allocate greater public expenditure to support the Fund and outline interventions concerning job creation and employment. This could be done by allocating 2 percent of public expenditure, that is, around 14 billion ILS and annually add a total of million ILS to the budget for employment to create job opportunities.
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Palestinian taxation is completely subordinated to a current and inherited colonial taxation scheme. Eliminating these practices would mean that Palestinians could renounce foreign funding and locate surpluses to increase expenditure on health, education, employment and developing production sectors; this will be attained when national development policies are adequately designed.