West Bank, Israeli economy closely linked

Al Monitor

At least as far as the economy is concerned, it seems that things have been going well for the Fatah-Hamas unity government in its first steps. According to reports by the Palestinian media, the government will pay the salaries of the 45,000 Hamas government employees who have not received their wages in the last four months. The funds to that end have been contributed by Qatar.

The Palestinian media has further reported on an arrangement reached with Israel to open the closed border crossings [to Gaza] and to expand the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through which building materials are already transported on a large scale for the rehabilitation of the ruins. And members of the unity government’s security forces (many of whom come from Ramallah) have been deployed at the border crossing.

Laborers from Gaza will once again work in Israel

A surprising report was delivered a few days ago by Ramallah-based Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh. According to al-Sheikh, an understanding has been reached with Israel to provide Gaza residents with Israeli work permits. There is also a fair chance that exports of goods from Gaza will shortly be resumed.

These developments indicate that the Israeli government has had to retract (at least for the time being) its “separation” policy, which was designed to disconnect and isolate Gaza from the West Bank following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip [in 2007].

On the diplomatic level, there is a stalemate, and the two sides seem to be on a course to a head-on collision — this against the backdrop of the diplomatic campaign against Israel mounted by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Hamas associates.

However, the developments on the economic level tell quite another story. In fact, moves in the very opposite direction, toward cooperation and even some measure of normalization, may already be discerned. To a large extent, the West Bank — not to mention East Jerusalem — has long become an integral part of the Israeli economy. No less than 66% of the imports to the Palestinian territories come from Israel, while 81% of Palestinian exports are targeted at Israel. At the same time, as far as Israel is concerned, its foreign trade with the Palestinians is marginal.

Economically speaking, there is no boundary between Israel and the West Bank

Economically speaking, the border between Israel and the West Bank has virtually been erased. Regardless of the separation fence, some 100,000 West Bank Palestinians are working in Israel and in the West Bank settlements, with or without work permits.

The efforts made by Israel to supervise and control the movement of goods from the West Bank have largely been to no avail. As it turns out, the laws of economy prevail over politics. When skilled laborers working in Israel are offered wages three times higher than that in the West Bank, no separation fences can be of use. They are likewise proving ineffective given the high cost of moving goods through the official border crossings, the long queues at the crossings, and the cargo screening regulations involved. All these prompt the Palestinians to look for alternative routes, and quite often, they manage to bypass the border crossing.

Once workers and goods start to enter Israel from Gaza, the very same economic forces that led to the creation of a common economy, shared by Israel and the West Bank, may well come into play, at least partially, with respect to Gaza. In the diplomatic arena, they will probably go on discussing the option of two states. However, as far as the economy is concerned, it’s going to be one single state.

October 23, 2014 | 15 Comments »

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  1. @ bernard ross:.
    The ten plagues are all about manipulation of nature

    K A H A NE
    The magazine of the authentic Jewish Idea
    Shavat –5737 February – 1977


    “And Pharaoh called to Moses, saying: Go and worship the L-rd. Only your sheep and cattle will remain – your children will also go with you. And Moses said: You will also give us offerings and sacrifices for the L-rd our G-d, and our flocks will go with us…” (Shmot 10:24-26)

    The ninth plague-darkness – has struck Egypt with a vengeance and Pharaoh breaks. Step by step he has retreated and after the eighth plague – locusts – he was prepared to allow the Jews to leave except for their children. Now he surrenders almost entirely as he agrees that all the Jews can leave. He only asks one thing, one compromise, one small victory for himself, that the Jewish cattle remain behind.

    Consider; the Jews have been slaves for 210 years. They have lived in misery and persecution. They suffered decrees such as the one casting their male children into the sea. They cried out unto the L-rd for freedom and salvation. Now, apparently the great moment has arrived! Pharaoh agrees that they shall go free! What does it matter that he asks for their cattle? Give it to him! The main thing is peace and salvation and we are willing to give up cattle for peace!

    But Moses knows that this is not the purpose of the freedom of the Jewish people and of the story of the slavery and exodus. He is not prepared to compromise one inch because he knows what the purpose of G-d is. When Moses first entered the presence of Pharaoh and said: “The L-rd, G-d of the Hebrews, has said: Let my people go!” Pharaoh contemptuously answered: “Who is the L-rd? I know not the L-rd and will not let Israel go!” Here is where the battle was joined. Here is the purpose and aim of creation – to have the world recognize the dominion and kingship of the L-rd being challenged. Pharaoh must be made to recognize and totally acknowledge the sovereignty of the L-rd over him and his people. He cannot make compromises; he cannot strike bargains. He must submit totally!

    “And I shall be glorified through (the defeat of) Pharaoh and his army and Egypt shall know that I am the L-rd.” Only the total defeat of the wicked can raise and honor the name of the L-rd, says the Biblical commentator Rashi. This is why there will be no compromise with Pharaoh. He must totally submit, he must totally surrender.

    And even when he apparently does this, after the plague of the first born, when he runs to Moses and says: “Get out, take your flocks with you, just leave and ask the L-rd to bless me!” Moses refuses and in the words of the Mechilta; “And he called unto Moses and Aaron in the middle of the night and said: get up and leave! Said Moses unto him: No, we have been ordered not to leave our houses until morning. What are we, thieves that we should slink out in the night? No, we will leave only in the morning with an upraised arm before the eyes of all the Egyptians!”

    Not one inch of retreat here. The lesson of the L-rd being the Omnipotent, king of the universe must be seen and acknowledged.

    The lesson is an eternal one and must be learned in our time, too. The question of peace in the Middle East is a question of the Arabs and the world acknowledging the total sovereignty of the All Mighty. There can be no compromise on this. It is only a peace that comes with Arabs submitting to the yoke of the heavenly kingdom that will be a permanent one and the Jew who gives up part of his land as a compromise, violates the entire purpose of the rise of the Jewish State and the demand of the All Mighty that the nations acknowledge Him as King. There can be no retreat from land because that is in essence a retreat also from the Kingship of the

  2. yamit82 Said:

    Interessting statistic this week. S&P or Moodies say that the mean income of Israel equals Weatern European incomes.

    yes, interesting how all the defamers talk about whats going to happen bad but the facts present the opposite.
    I just posted on a site where somebody asked how my viewpoints are working out and I said great, all the enemies are killing each other. Someone else then said he wouldn’t want to live in Israel where the leader is peeing himself in fear over iran and everyone is always running for cover and I referred him to the survey on happiness and asked him if anyone invited him to Israel.
    what’s amazing is that even in war its better.
    I was just reading about the etree and thought how absurd the defamers narratives are when you see everything Israel is doing that is good for the world. all those people stumbling on Israels good things must start to question the ridiculous narratives. I wonder if the defamers are going to starrt to lose ground.
    got to go now and shut down, see you tomorrow.

  3. @ bernard ross:

    Interessting statistic this week. S&P or Moodies say that the mean income of Israel equals Weatern European incomes.

    If Israel subtracted the Voluntary Poverty Arab and Haredi sectors we would equal that of America.

  4. yamit82 Said:

    I suppose to keep the dogs and the security guards from being too bored.

    If the dogs were there they would have got the first jumper before he ran around the WH

  5. bernard ross Said:

    (you gotta wonder why they have a fence that can be Jumped)

    Good question, I suppose to keep the dogs and the security guards from being too bored. Couple of times a year they have to perform and can’t even get that right

  6. yamit82 Said:

    Do any Palis living In Y&S want those primitive brigands to move from Lebanon , Syria and Jordan to move in take their scarce jobs and increase the already high crime rate exponentially?

    In other words, they prefer the status quo, but with make-up

  7. @ bernard ross:

    The Arabs do not have the culture or the work ethic to create a Modern state, Olive horticulture will carry them just so far. They have more donkey carts in Gaza than cars.

  8. yamit82 Said:

    Does anyone believe Abbas wants to be what amounts to be a Mayor of a large city.

    right, and there are other scenarios which they do not want to face if there was a deal: would they allow millions of pal refugees from the arab world into their little enclave if they could? as long as they can keep that ball in Israels court, I think they will. If they let them in there is chaos, if they refuse it is civil strife and assassination.
    Also, this is one of the scenarios that makes me wonder if the Sinai land for the pals could be a real consideration, All the arabs want them out of their lands but where can they go: Jordan or sinai seem credible and Jordan wont want them without major change.
    One specualtion I have about the recent problems is based on reading that Hamas funded the MOunt troubles. Perhaps the only way that hamas can get itself into the trough of billions is to make trouble now with Israel so that everyone else(GCC, US, EU,PA, etc) will give them a bigger cut and more “power”. Perhaps they are all refusing to move forward without a deal from Hamas.

  9. bernard ross Said:

    Gaza relief efforts overrun by corruption, inefficiency

    It’s a given that everybody will take a cut from the top from corrupt UN and AID officials to Other Arab middlemen and the banks.

    If 50% actually get’s to the intended parties and purpose that wouldbe a lot.

    I call the PA and Hamastan… Kleptocracies.

    Billion have been syphoned off all aid ever given to the Palis…. That’s why they don’t want a state the aid will dry up and nobofy to blame for their sorry condition. Does anyone believe Abbas wants to be what amounts to be a Mayor of a large city. overseeing public works and schools hospitals trade and providing jobs for a growing population…. Only Israel and our conflict give him international status. Do any Palis living In Y&S want those primitive brigands to move from Lebanon , Syria and Jordan to move in take their scarce jobs and increase the already high crime rate exponentially?