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Effective aid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories?

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Ibrahim & Beaudet focus their analysis on the definition of Palestine as a State and the role played in the development of institutions both by Israel and by foreign aid. According to the authors, Palestine cannot be considered a State, not even a fragile one, as its characteristics don’t fall within the definition of the OECD. Palestine cannot even be considered a fragile State as fragile States are able to carry out basic functions of the State. The Palestinian case is a form of hybrid as it has a national authority having limited powers but its agency is inscribed within the space defined by the Israeli occupation and control. In this setting the two authors claim that international cooperation and foreign aid, failing to address and recognise the key issue for the lack of institutional development in Palestine, namely the Israeli occupation, created a condition of dependency that furtherly undermines the capacity for development. In particular, with the complicity of the international community, the Oslo agreement damaged the Palestinian economy and society and foreign aid was not beneficial to the territories, failing to meet basic principles on which foreign aid should be based: ownership, alignment, harmonisation, mutuality. Palestine was never able under the Oslo agreement to determine its own strands of development, so that the principle of ownership was never applied. Furthermore, the principle of alignment, for which aid organisations should base their funding on the development programmes defined by the national strategy, were mostly developed independently from the Palestinian government. Moreover, the donors should harmonise and simplify procedures, but the proliferation of donors has been confusing and detrimental. Donors have been overlooking the fact that these principles can not be applied in the context of settler-colonialism within which the PA works and disregarding these aspects, cooperation has turned to be ineffective and inefficient. For example, the agricultural sector, once a key sector of the Palestinian economy, has been diminishing steadily since the Oslo agreement and loss of free access to the majority of the agricultural land, now in Area C. moreover, with the Oslo agreement obligations, the restrictions imposed on the movement of people and goods directly affect the productiveness of it, so much that, even if interesting projects in agriculture are being implemented through foreign aid, development will always have to face a dead end unless the Israeli policies are addressed.  

Final Review Date: 
Saturday, April 17, 2021
Publication Year: 
Journal Name: 
Conflict, Security & Development