- Title: In rebuff to Trump, Palestinians call for freedom, not cash
- Date: 20th June 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) AMMAR AKER, CEO OF PALTEL GROUP, SAYING: "We cannot launch any service unless we get the approval of Israeli authorities, when it comes to frequency, to equipment imports it has to get the approval of the Israeli government." ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER, GAZA (RECENT) (REUTERS) ISRAELI BORDER WITH GAZA AS SEEN FROM GAZA SIDE EREZ CROSSING AS SEEN FROM GAZA BARRIER BETWEEN GAZA AND ISRAEL SECURITY CAMERA AS SEEN FROM GAZA GAZA CITY, GAZA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PALESTINIANS AT GAZA SKY GEEKS TECH INCUBATOR YOUNG MEN USING LAPTOPS AT THE TECH INCUBATOR CLOSE OF HANDS WHILE TYPING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DALIA SHURRAB, SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR AT THE GAZA SKY GEEKS TECH INCUBATOR, SAYING: "Unfortunately, there is no high speed internet, we don't have 3G or 4G like West Bank and other cities. This affect the development of the companies. Many startups shut down because they couldn't continue without the 3G, so they couldn't develop their apps." VARIOUS OF YOUNG MEN AT GAZA GEEKS TUBAS, WEST BANK (JUNE 20, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ENERGY PROJECT LAUNCH EVENT PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH SITTING PEOPLE LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH SAYING: "If anybody wants to solve the Palestinian problem, they have to solve it through ending occupation, (and) the establishment of a Palestinian state". MORE OF CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER MOHAMMAD SHTAYYEH SAYING: "If there are people who want to support the Palestinian people, they should lift the financial siege that has been imposed on the Palestinian people." RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (JUNE 18, 2019) (REUTERS) DR. NABIL SHAATH, A VETERAN ADVISOR TO ABBAS WHO WAS A NEGOTIATOR AT OSLO, IN OFFICE
- Embargoed: 4th July 2019 12:14
- Keywords: Palestinians Bahrain workshop Gaza Trump plan Israel buisness
- Location: ABU DIS, RAWABI,BEIT EL CHECKPOINT, HEBRON, QALANDIYA CHECKPOINT, RAMALLAH, TUBAS, WEST BANK/ TEL AVIV, ISRAEL/ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER, RAFAH, GAZA CITY, GAZA/JERUSALEM
- City: ABU DIS, RAWABI,BEIT EL CHECKPOINT, HEBRON, QALANDIYA CHECKPOINT, RAMALLAH, TUBAS, WEST BANK/ TEL AVIV, ISRAEL/ISRAEL-GAZA BORDER, RAFAH, GAZA CITY, GAZA/JERUSALEM
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA007AK57IVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Palestinian businessmen boycotting the Trump administration's Bahrain workshop designed to encourage investment in the territories say only a diplomatic path to statehood can end decades of conflict with Israel.
The United States has billed the June 25-26 gathering in the Gulf kingdom as an economic overture to its long-delayed Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, widely referred to as President Donald Trump's "deal of the century".
But Israeli government officials have not been invited. Palestinian leaders - and the vast majority of its business community - are shunning the conference spearheaded by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
While details of the Trump peace plan are still sketchy, Palestinians worry it will jettison the two-state solution - the long-standing international formula which envisages an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza co-existing with Israel.
"Our case is political, 100 percent. It's not economic," said Palestinian tech company executive Murad Tahboub.
Tahboub, CEO of ASAL Technologies, echoes arguments made by other members of the Palestinian business community in the West Bank and Gaza, territory Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War and where Palestinians want to build a future state.
"How (can you) build an economy if you don't have sovereignty? If you don't have access to natural resources, like water, like electricity, like borders?"
Tahboub says his company's growth has lagged due to Israeli restrictions. "I have 350 engineers because I don't have a state, right now. If I was in Romania or Ukraine, it'd be 3,500."
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority has exercised limited self-rule in the West Bank since the Oslo interim peace deals of the 1990s, with economic relations between Israel and the Palestinians governed by the Paris Protocol of 1994.
Palestinians hoped the Oslo arrangements would lead to full statehood one day, but it never happened, with both sides blaming each other.
(Production: Nehad Shanna/Mohammed Shanna/Eli Berlzon/Ismail Khadder/Mohammed Abu Ganeyeh/Rami Amichay/Roleen Tafakji)
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