Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Palestinians shun joint Israeli-Palestinian business center

Shlomo Cesana, Israel Hayom

Image from article, with caption: More hopeful times: Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople push for peace at the World Economic Forum in 2013

A group of foreign diplomats was due to visit on Tuesday an Israeli-Palestinian business center that has been shuttered since the recent wave of terrorist attacks began in October 2015, because the Palestinian Authority has forbidden PA residents from going there.

The Traklin Business Center, located at the Ephraim Gate Crossing next to Tulkarem, serves as a neutral center and a safe place for Israeli and Palestinian businesspeople to meet and continue bilateral business and trade relations.

The center is a flagship project of the Regional Cooperation Ministry under Deputy Minister Ayoob Kara, and can be used at no cost. When it was active, Palestinians entering Israel to visit the center were not required to obtain an entry permit.

Israel is now using the center as a stage for public diplomacy. On Tuesday, the first tour of the shuttered center will host a group of diplomats from the U.S., Jordan, Japan, the European Union, the international Middle East Quartet, USAID, and the Red Cross.

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