update - 08/11/2009 source : reports indicated that Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration over U.S. recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Such recognition would likely transform any Israeli presence across the Green Line, even in Jerusalem, into an illegal incursion to which the Palestinians would be entitled to engage in measures of self-defense.
In late August Fayyad presented the international community with a detailed plan for building up Palestinian Authority institutions and set a timetable of up to two years for its implementation. Senior Israeli officials said Fayyad's plan initially met with positive reaction in Jerusalem for its emphasis on institution-building and making security services more efficient.
This is the spirit, Palestine need to be built by Palestinian for Palestinians.
we need not to negotiate our future, we need to create it, and while Israel put pressure it caanot stop the building of Palestine - it is not the question of territory, it is a question of human organizing their life and for that the Palestinians need not permission, they need to start create it.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to present plans for institutions, infrastructure of future state including new international airport, rail links, generous tax regime for foreign investors, securing water, energy sources in hopes of 'building free, democratic and stable Palestine'
Reuters Published: 08.24.09, 21:23 / Israel News
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will on Tuesday unveil his plan for building the institutions and infrastructure of the state of Palestine, which he says can be readied in the next two years.
Not so much a blueprint as a wish-list, the 65-page plan calls for a new international airport in the Jordan Valley and new rail links to neighboring states, and proposes a generous tax regime for foreign investors.
The Palestinian Authority which Fayyad heads is dependent on foreign assistance for most of its budget. A copy of the plan was obtained by Reuters ahead of publication.
The plan is short on detail, but setting out these objectives is a departure from Palestinian policy over the past 15 years, which focused exclusively on negotiations with Israel rather than building institutions.
Western-backed Fayyad says Palestinians must not wait for a final peace settlement with Israel but get on with creating their state.
"We call upon all our people to work together on the basis of full partnership in the process of completing and building the institutions of a free, democratic and stable state of Palestine," the plan states.
"The world should hear the clear and united position from all walks of Palestinian society ... that the Israeli occupation is the only obstacle that hinders the stability, prosperity and the progress of our people and their right to freedom, independence and a decent life."
Fayyad, a technocrat with no significant political base, heads a newly aligned cabinet with more ministers than before from the dominant Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Islamist Hamas rivals refuse to recognize the premier.
On the political level, the plan is in harmony with the position of Abbas, who wants to establish a state on all territories that Israel occupied after the 1967 war, with Arab east Jerusalem as its capital.
The document says the government will focus on improving the performance of Palestinian security services, as part of its commitment to crack down on militants as stipulated in the internationally backed peace plan or "Road Map".
It speaks of building infrastructure, securing energy sources and water, and improving housing, education, and agriculture. But no detailed prescriptions are included.
"The government will work on encouraging investment in Palestine through offering tax cuts to local and foreign investors (and) will review investment regulations and remove obstacles that hinder investment," says the document.
"Our national duty stipulates that we should do whatever we can to get our economy out of the cycle of dependency and alienation."
(IsraelNN.com) While Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has won praise from the West for unveiling a plan for a PA state, he faces opposition from within the PA parliament. The Hamas terrorist group, which won the majority of parliament seats in the 2006 elections, has rejected the plan and accused Fayyad of serving Israeli interests.
"We have one path for our Palestinian state to be established,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told the PA news service Maan. “The only way to do so is through resistance.”
Barhoum accused Fayyad of working with Israel, and said his plan “fulfills the desire of the occupation.”
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group rejected Fayyad's plan as well. Like Hamas, Islamic Jihad expressed concern that the plan would be seen as a rejection of “resistance,” a term used to refer to terrorism against Israeli citizens.
U.S., UN Pleased
Officials from the United States and the United Nations expressed satisfaction with the plan, which Fayyad unveiled on Tuesday. The plan was “concrete” compared to previous PA blueprints, said American consul general Jacob Walles.
UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said the document was proof of “self empowerment.” The PA plan “challenges all other players to step up to their responsibilities,” he said.
The plan includes calls for a PA airport, better trained and armed PA troops, and an improved education system. The document did not detail the steps necessary to reach the stated goals.
Fayyad: We Want to Greet Obama
Fayyad's goal is to create “a de facto state apparatus” by 2011. In order to create a state apparatus, the PA will need more money from the international community, he said Tuesday. “We are going to seek this additional funding,” he said.
"Even after the state is established... we will continue to need external financial support,” Fayyad warned.
In his appeal for aid, Fayyad told U.S. officials that PA Arabs “want to receive President Obama in our airport.” The PA would like to greet Obama as he descends from his Air Force One plane, and not from an Israeli helicopter, he said.
Israel: There Might Not be a PA State
Israeli officials were less pleased by Fayyad's stated goal of creating a de facto state. “There is no place for either unilateral actions of threats,” said Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Fayyad's plans for a PA state could come to naught if the PA does not fight terrorism, Steinitz warned. “It is clear that a Palestinian state, no matter what its form, will not see the light of day if Israel's security concerns are not taken into account.”
The plan makes conceptual, moral, and practical sense. This is what Israelis and all decent people expected Arafat and his Merry Men to do when they triumphantly returned to the Holly Land many decades ago.
Did they do it? If not why not?
What is different now, nearly three decades later?
Why should we all believe and trust that this can and will happen soon?
I'll take a stab at answering your questions.
1. To a large extent they did for the first few years after Oslo. An Airport was built in Gaza. National institutions were created. Elections were held, and slowly an organized civic society emerged. However after Arafat returned to Palestine, Israel continued to control the territory around the Palestinian enclaves, their imports and exports, their movement around the West Bank, and their access to the outside world. For decades Palestinians had been dependent on the Israeli economy. Then suddenly they were denied the right to work, and Israel replaced tens of thousands of Palestinian workers with labor from Thailand, the Philippines, Ghana etc. More than anything else this devastated the Palestinian economy. And of course during these years Israel doubled the number of settlers to 500,000 in the land intended to become the Palestinian state.
2. What's different? A great deal. All the factors that contributed to the failure of the Palestinian Authority are still in place, and have become worse. Israel now has created sealed, walled ghettos for tens of thousands of people in the West Bank - Kalkiliya, Bir Naballah, Anata, to name a few. Even Bethlehem is almost surrounded by the WALL. There is now a vast network of 'Jewish only' and 'Arab only' roads, and despite the recent pronouncements of Netanyahu, settlement building continues at a rapid pace. Jerusalem is now completely sealed from the West Bank by the WALL and almost no Palestinians are permitted to enter.
3. We can't and it probably won't. I don't believe that there can be any meaningful progress in state building until there is a state, and a political solution that deals with the core issues. Fayyad'a plan is in fact in progress, contributing to what Netanyahu has called 'economic peace'. Some restrictions have been lifted in the West Bank that facilitates commerce. The Palestinian economy is predicted to increase by 7% this year. However the benefits of this growth are largely for the PA and business elite. Very little trickles down to the person on the street which is starting to seethe and murmur in a manner reminiscent of early 2000. If you recall there was much hope for the Camp David talks in 2000, and we ended up with the Intifada which many of us here predicted months in advance - only to be ignored. We seem to be approaching a similar cusp. Simultaneous with a public perception that things are getting better, are conditions that may well result in another spasm of violence.
So I don't hold out much hope for the new process.
Fred, i think it's necessary to append still 4th point
4. Arik's operation Defensive Shield in 2002 destroyed completely the Pal. infrastructure
(Europeans watched with consternation the destruction of Gaza airport which was built of Europ. money)
radio an TV stations, power stations, water reservoirs etc
Palestinian institutions incl. Ministry of Education were cracked, computers with databases crushed.
The domage caused was about $500 million.