Economic and Social Development in Palestine

Ross Anthony, Associate Director, RAND Corporation and Jim Prince,
President of the Democracy Council, discuss economic and social
development in Palestine. The recent Palestinian elections highlighted
the issues of economic opportunity and corruption. The Palestinian
Authority is heavily dependent on foreign donors who make up a
substantial part of the budget, including schools, health care and
security. International donors have joined demands that Hamas renounce
violence and accept previous agreement and accords, but cutting aid
risks undermining what remains of stability in the West Bank, as well
as driving Hamas towards other countries – notably Iran. Israel has
agreed to continue transferring tax payments it collects to the
Palestinian Authority as long as Hamas is not in control. What are the
options for long-term economic development and stabilization in the
West Bank? A recent RAND study outlined key steps in the creation of a
Palestinian state including education, employment, health and access to
water. Is there a link between economic and social conditions in West
Bank and Gaza and the vote for Hamas? What are fundamental economic and
social challenges facing Palestinians? What practical steps and
measures can international donors still play in supporting the
conditions for the development of a stable, peaceful Palestinian state.

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