DEVELOPING EAST JERUSALEM ?

Efforts to help the beleaguered 375,000 inhabitants of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem – which Palestinians see as the future capital of their state – are intensifying because of renewed efforts by Palestinian businessmen and promises of some $1bn in aid from the Arab League, of which $250m has already been pledged by Qatar. The plans include the construction of a new airport in the city, a project which was first mooted in 2009 by the former Palestinian Prime minister, Salah Fayyad, as well as incentives to both local and foreign investors in the fields of finance, trade, transport, tourism, real estate and housing, private education and information communications and technology (ICT).

Speaking at an investment forum held in East Jerusalem last December, Mazen Sinokrot, the CEO of Al Quds holding, a Jerusalem-based company set up in 2009 to promote private investment in the city, said that such projects would help to put “social vitality and life” back into the city after years of neglect.

The forum brought together a wide range of Palestinian companies from East Jerusalem and the west bank as well as a host of international investors, entrepreneurs, diplomats and officials. (See The Middle East, November, 2012).

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