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Title: Options for achieving internal economic connectivity and effective international trade for a viable Palestinian state : MAS annual conference papers : the unity of the Palestinian economy a key for ending the occupation, 23-24 January 2011
Other Titles: خيارات تحقيق ترابط الإقتصاد الفلسطيني داخليا و تحقيق تجارة خارجية فاعلة من أجل تحقيق دولة فلسطينية قادرة على الحياة و الإستمرار : أوراق عمل المؤتمر السنوي للمعهد، وحدة الإقتصاد الفلسطيني رافعة رئيسية لإنهاء الإحتلال، 23-24 كانون الثاني 2011
Authors: Awadallah, Faisal
Keywords: Infrastructure (Economics) - Palestine;Transportation - Palestine;Transportation planning - Palestine
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: A coherent and effective Palestinian economy is directly related to internal connectivity of transport systems within the West Bank and Gaza Strip and between them. In addition, a sound economy needs free international trade and open borders. This paper addresses the current transportation facilities and mobility for people and goods in the West Bank and Gaza. In addition, it provides a historical background on the mobility and transportation conditions in Palestine. Finally the paper addresses transportation options for a viable Palestinian State in the Palestinian areas occupied by Israel in 1967. Various studies that evaluated transport needs for a viable Palestinian State. including studies by the PNA, Israel, and the RAND Arc plan were reviewed. The main internal connectivity transport element recommended in this study is a main backbone corridor in the central West Bank from Jinen to south of Hebron and then crosses Israel south of Beit Awwa to a point south of Beit Hanoun. The corridor continues south along the Gaza Strip eastern border to Yasser Arafat's airport and the Rafah border crossing. A spur to the west, located south of Gaza city that leads to Gaza seaport is also needed. The corridor between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is recommended to be at-grade level with suitable security measures to protect both Palestinian motorists and Israeli residents along the corridor. It should be under Palestinian control. Short segments of bridges or tunnels may be possible, especially as overpasses or underpasses to Israeli roads and railroads. A continuous bridge or tunnel option is very expensive and could be sabotaged by Israeli extremist. In addition such options (especially a tunnel) could stress drivers and in case of major accidents the corridor could be closed for extended periods. The study also emphasized that the Palestinian Himma area occupied in 1967 (which is part of the British Mandate Palestine that was a demilitarized zone between 1949 and 1967 as part of the armistice agreement between Israel and Syria in 1949) should be part of the Palestinian State. Thus the study suggests a transport corridor between the West Bank and Himma region along the Jordan and Yarmouk rivers.
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