Commanders for Israel’s Security, a nongovernmental organization, proposes that Israel transfer to the Palestinians territory representing a few percentage points of Area C in order to expand the autonomous areas, letting them develop, grow, and prosper.
Ease Palestinians’ Travel Abroad
The Palestinians do not have their own airport, but the construction of a Palestinian airport would boost Palestinians’ independence at the expense of Israel’s security. Today the Palestinians’ gateway to the world is the international airport in Amman, Jordan. Crossing the border to Jordan at Allenby Bridge, though, involves a long wait time. Palestinians’ access to the world can be expanded in two ways. First, Israel could greatly reduce waiting time at Allenby Bridge, including by introducing advanced technological means to speed up and ease border crossings. Second, it could enable Palestinians to fly abroad through Ben Gurion Airport via direct, secured shuttles, connecting the West Bank to Israel’s international airport.
Employment in Israel
Some 120,000 Palestinians work in Israel, bringing large sums of money to the Palestinian territories and providing a livelihood for 600,000 people. There is a large pay differential between employment in the Palestinian Authority and in Israel; for the same job, workers in Israel earn twice as much. In recent years, the IDF’s top brass have concluded that the number of permits for Palestinians to work in Israel can be dramatically boosted.
Employment opportunities can be opened up to women and older men with clean records, with a supervised but minimal risk to Israel. If 400,000 Palestinian workers entered Israel every day, this would significantly improve the Palestinian economy. More than 1 million Palestinians would directly enjoy the fruits of working in Israel, and the whole population would benefit from the injection of new cash into the local market.
Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank, has published a plan—the Political-Security Framework for the Israeli-Palestinian Arena—in which Israel would allocate parts of Area C for Palestinian economic development and industrial estates. The plan would encourage international investment in these areas and create a special credit scheme for loans to build businesses there.
No Settlement Expansion
To facilitate shrinking the conflict, Israel would have to refrain from expanding its settlements outside the major blocs and allocate land in Area C for Palestinian economic initiatives.
International and Local Trade
One of the greatest weaknesses of the Palestinian economy is its isolation from the outside world. A new railroad between Jenin and Haifa and the construction of a Palestinian seaport in Haifa Bay under Israeli supervision would solve this problem. The Israeli army’s “door-to-door” plan would have Israeli security officers inspect the loading of goods into marked and locked containers at the border crossings, to avoid the need for unloading and inspection at various checkpoints. The full, accelerated implementation of this plan would enable goods to move easily from Judea and Samaria to the ports at Haifa and Ashdod, and from there to the rest of the world.