On their way to the Bahrain conference Palestinian business leaders stop at Shomron to meet Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.
A meeting under the radar. Palestinian leaders, who left for the Bahrain conference this morning, the economic summit organized by the American administration stopped on their way to the airport to discuss the economic plan with Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan. The parties stressed that they both share the same core goal – a better future for our children, and establishing a platform for economic cooperation between the Jewish residents and the local Arabs who are living in despair.
The meeting is a continuation of a series of meetings and contacts held by the head of the Samaria Regional Council with the local Arab leadership, in order to create an alternative to the path of terror funded by the Palestinian Authority. And to create economic cooperation that will bring prosperity to all sides.
Dagan met with Ashraf Ja’abri, who left for Bahrain this morning and with other delegates who wished to keep anonymity of their names from the media.
Last month Dagan was honored as a guest for the traditional ‘Iftar’ dinner at the home of Ashraf Jabari in Hebron. He also traveled to Washington, DC with Sheikh Abu Khalil Tamimi from Ramallah and together held meetings on Capitol Hill to promote the economic peace plan.
During the meeting yesterday Dagan said: “In recent years, we have seen Arab Sheikhs and leaders working to create a true connection between Arabs and Jews in Judea and Samaria, we respect each other, and if God put us here in the same land, we have to see how to honor each-other. For the first time we are not watching agreements being drafted between politicians who are not connected to the ground, but seeing local leaders coming together to discuss economic cooperation, which is what can bring peace, this is where it can happen “.
Jabari told Dagan at the meeting: “We are interested in a large building industrial park like the one here at Barkan that can employ thousands of workers who will provide for their families, we want to build a hospital in Hebron. 25 years have passed since the Oslo Accords, what are the results, only blood, we have to talk about how we will live. To establish a strong economic situation and give livelihood to the people.”
Despite the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to send official representatives to the economic workshop in Bahrain, which is due to begin tomorrow, and despite their general rejection of the American initiative a number of independent Palestinian businessmen decided to attend the summit. One of them, Ashraf Jabari, spoke with Israel News 12 and told why he decided to reach the summit.
Jabari is considered friendly to the Jewish settlers and the close to American ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. “We’ll go to Bahrain, we’ll look and hear what is proposed there. This is an opportunity for the Palestinian people because it will strengthen our economy,” the businessman said. “There are another eight or nine businessmen who are going to this conference with me, and we talked about this situation and they told me: ‘This is really the best plan for the Palestinian people”.
Dagan said that instead of “peace in the bonds between disconnected politicians, a connection must be made through the area, through the area and through economic investments.” Jabari replied that “peace will come from the bottom up, but what happened here 25 years ago came from top to bottom. (referring to foreign intervention and plans from realities on the ground).
The Palestinian businessman referred to the criticism on their decision to go to the summit, claiming that he believed it was an opportunity to advance the idea of a Palestinian state. “How can we reach a political solution without a strong economic situation?” He asked.