RAMALLAH, May 30 (JMCC) - As the Palestinian Authority
steadies itself on the goal of ending Palestinian labor in Israeli settlements
, workers are searching for viable alternatives. Luckily, new projects on the Palestinian side are emerging as Palestine's economy
is begging to provide outlets of its own.
Amr Khalil has been steering bulldozers over West Bank
hilltops for years, but now instead of building Jewish settlements he feels he is striking a blow against them.
The 30-year-old is just one of dozens of Palestinians, many of whom used to work in settlements because of lack of other opportunities, who are now laying the groundwork for Rawabi, a massive planned community north of Ramallah
It feels different because now I work for my own people to build a city that is on the front line in defending against the expansion of the settlements, he said, gesturing at the neighbouring settlement of Ateret
Palestinians view the more than 120 Israeli settlements scattered across the occupied West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem
as the main obstacle towards establishing an independent Palestinian state.
And yet tens of thousands of Palestinians labour on building sites in the settlements because the wages there exceed those available elsewhere in the West Bank, where unemployment is high.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority plans to outlaw working in the settlements by the end of the year as part of a months-old campaign that includes a ban on trade in settler goods that has angered Israel.Read
the full article on AFP...