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A Boost For Palestinian Infrastructure

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, center, walks out after shopping for souvenirs at The Nativity Store in Manger Square, Bethlehem, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013.

The United States has pledged to invest $75 million into improving infrastructure for the Palestinians.

As peace negotiations continue between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, all parties involved realize that the signing of an agreement will be just the first step toward a new reality, where two countries will exist side by side in peace, each with its own, democratically elected government.

A Boost For Palestinian Infrastructure
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“I want to underscore the two-state solution that we seek is not an end unto itself,” said Secretary of State John Kerry during a recent visit to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem. “Our concern is not just whether or not people can define where the borders fall on the map, but whether or not people are able to map out a better future for themselves and their children,” he said:

“Even as we work towards this goal, we, the United States, remain deeply committed to a peaceful, prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians. We need to develop the economies to show both peoples that peace has the benefits of economic opportunity and prosperity.”

A healthy economy goes a long way toward creating a stable, peaceful society. The thriving economies, the shared prosperity that we seek, increased economic development and more jobs and opportunity will require investment, capital, innovation and adequate infrastructure.

That is why the United States has pledged to invest $75 million into improving infrastructure for the Palestinians. “Combined with the 25 million that the United States pledged in September, we have now committed $100 million to support micro-infrastructure initiatives in the West Bank, and they will help bring real improvement to Palestinian communities and lives,” said Secretary Kerry. Improved infrastructure will mean more and better jobs, better roads, shorter travel times, better connections among people and will attract more tourists and foreign investment.

The international community has extended a helping hand. But in the end, the Palestinian Authority and municipal authorities will always be the key in local endeavors, said Secretary of State Kerry.

“The Palestinian economy will not be built on foreign aid alone. It will be built on the hard work and the entrepreneurship of the Palestinian people . . . . And that’s why this kind of project is just one of the ways that we will be supporting the international – the region’s economy.”