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With Small Steps, Palestinians and Israelis Try to Tackle Gaza's Ills

In a sense, the timing could not be worse. The violence that began with a blown intelligence operation and gunfight…

In a sense, the timing could not be worse.

The violence that began with a blown intelligence operation and gunfight in Khan Younis and wound up with hundreds of rockets raining down on Israeli cities led on Wednesday to the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, whose aides had indicated their willingness to let the Gaza projects proceed. And early elections in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s action of Gaza is expected to be a central issue, would put any progress on hold.

Still, the diplomats, academics and eco-entrepreneurs who with this week at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, based on the tiny kibbutz Ketura in the Negev desert, said they wanted their projects to be shovel-ready whenever the time is ripe.

To be sure, proposals for Gaza infrastructure projects are commonplace: In February, Israel called on international donors to fund a billion dollar rebuilding plan, including big-ticket items like two desalination plants, a natural gas pipeline and a new electrical transmission line into Gaza from Israel.

But major projects can take years to complete , leaving Gaza’s ills two parties.

Moreover, Israel and international donors, loath to do business with Hamas, have insisted that the more moderate Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Ba nk, oversee any projects. Men mellem den palestinske myndighetens feud med Hamas, og Trump administrationens feud med autoriteten, har resultatet vært en Catch-22. And nothing is getting done.

What sets the Arava group’s projects apart, officials say, is that they could get underway immediately, with projects running over a few months and most financed in large part by private investment. [19659002] Een ander risico van ambitieuze infrastructuurprojecten is dat, zodra ze klaar zijn, ze worden tempting targets voor Israëlische airstrikes in oorlogstijd. So the Arava group’s strategy is to stay small and spread out.

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