Palestinian Authority officials today said that while they welcome Secretary of State John Kerry’s pledges of economic aid to the occupied West Bank, they want to make it clear that they don’t view the funds as a substitute for actual peace talks.
Kerry presented the $4 billion bid yesterday, saying that the Quartet envisioned saving the Palestinian economy by funding tourism in the area. Kerry said experts believed it would increase the Palestinian GDP by 50 percent in three years.
Which leaves open the question of how many tourists want to visit refugee camps and grim villages constantly being raided by the Israeli military, and whether Israel will even play ball by loosening restrictions on visitors which have long kept tourism a niche industry in the area.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas didn’t appear optimistic either, expressing annoyance at US and British “pressure” to resume peace talks and noting that Israel still hasn’t presented a single concrete proposal to base those talks around.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Spanish National Police Aim to Seize Control of Catalonia - September 23rd, 2017
- Europe Steps Up to Try to Undermine Catalonia Independence Vote - September 23rd, 2017
- Civilians Leave ISIS-Area in Eastern Syria After Evacuation Deal - September 22nd, 2017
- Catalonia Closes Ranks as Outrage over Crackdown Grows - September 22nd, 2017
- Spanish Prosecutors Formally Accuse Catalan Separatists of Sedition - September 22nd, 2017