Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process – Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, 10 May 2022 – Occupied Palestinian Territory

Saturday, May 7, 2022, Jerusalem – A recently released report by the United Nations underscores the urgent need for a more strategic approach to addressing the economic and fiscal crisis facing the Palestinian Authority and government. It calls for a coordinated and integrated response to resolve this precarious situation.

The report, released by the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) for the upcoming meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) in Brussels on May 10, 2022, warns of a uncoordinated approach to address the current political, economic and security challenges in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) which only perpetuate a continuous cycle of crisis management.

The report notes some improvements in the situation since the last meeting of the AHLC in November 2021. Some trends point to growing activity and integration between the Israeli and Palestinian economies, particularly with regard to expanding access to Israeli labor market. The number of workers moving from the West Bank to Israel has risen to 153,000. Some 20,000 permits allowing Palestinians from Gaza to enter Israel to work or trade have been approved, with nearly 12,000 issued to date. The trade in goods from the West Bank and Gaza is higher than for many years, with this trade mainly destined for Israel.

This increase is due to some recent Israeli decisions to make improvements to access and circulation. The report notes that such initiatives will improve Palestinian livelihoods and ease tensions in the short term. Nevertheless, growing economic integration requires an update of the regulatory framework governing relations between the Israeli and Palestinian economies, otherwise asymmetries will be exacerbated.

The report also points out that in the West Bank, the space for Palestinian economic activity, especially in Area C, does not allow for the necessary Palestinian economic growth.

Israel’s restrictions on movement and land use, continued settlement activity and expansion, and the lack of building permits issued by Israel, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain, highlight this negative development.
Improving Palestinian access to Area C and enabling Palestinians to meet their development needs would have a positive impact on Palestinian economic development.

The sectors that would benefit the most are agriculture, minerals, mining, construction, tourism and telecommunications.
The report notes that economic measures alone, including Palestinian tax reforms and further easing of Israeli access and movement restrictions – while essential and desperately needed – will not provide a lasting solution to the multiple crises facing the country. ‘AP faces. The report calls on all actors to move beyond a conflict management paradigm to a conflict resolution paradigm.

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said: “From this perspective, there are steps that can be taken immediately to improve the situation. What is needed is a set of progressive, lasting and meaningful steps that would reflect a more coherent strategy to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and chart a clear course towards a two-state solution. Getting there requires political leadership. The report urges Israelis, Palestinians, regional states and the wider international community to take concrete steps to encourage the parties to engage more with each other and with the international community with this goal in mind. ‘mind.

Note to editors: The Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) serves as the primary policy-level coordination mechanism for OPT development assistance. The AHLC is chaired by Norway and co-sponsored by the EU and the United States. In addition, the United Nations participates with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The AHLC seeks to promote dialogue between donors, the Palestinian Authority and the government of Israel.

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