Business & Economy

Palestinian olive oil's Fairtrade journey

In spring 2008, several years of careful negotiations finally culminated in the first Palestinian olive oil being awarded Fairtrade status. The oil, sourced from the Palestine Fair Trade Producers Company (PFTPC), based in the West Bank city of Jenin, is both the first Palestinian product to receive Fairtrade certification, and the first olive oil to be allowed to use the mark. Sarah Irving reports for The Electronic Intifada. 

Israeli settlement produce may be enjoying EU privileges

BRUSSELS (IPS) - European Union officials are seeking evidence to support claims that fruit and vegetables from Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are being exported under false pretense. In a note circulated to its fellow EU governments in late 2008, Britain expressed concern that goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank may be entering the Union without paying the legally required duties. 

Report: UK economic links with Israeli settlements

The purpose of this report is to document economic links between UK companies and those based in settlements. The research has identified 68 British companies which have direct or indirect relationships with Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory; 49 of which have their head office in the United Kingdom and 19 of which are British subsidiaries of companies based in Israel or other countries. 

Justice and couscous

The spirit’s resolve is an amazing tool for change and was the trigger for a remarkable group of women from Ein al-Sultan camp to come together a few years ago to devise an innovative way in which to break free from the shackles of their destitution. And so begins the inspirational story of Jericho’s women’s fair trade couscous cooperative. Gen Sander reports from Jericho. 

Palestinian economy: Foundation of a state or common burden?

Perhaps the most nuanced aspect of Palestinian suffering that goes more or less unnoticed is the abominable state of the Palestinian economy. The systemic and perpetual economic hindrances imposed upon the Palestinian economy by the Israeli occupation are viewed by most experts to be the primary impediment to allowing the Palestinian economy to reach its full potential. Sami Halabi analyzes for The Electronic Intifada. 

World bank assails Israeli chokehold on West Bank

WASHINGTON (IPS) - The West Bank’s economy continues to gasp for air despite increased international aid mainly because Israel keeps the Palestinian territory in a stranglehold, says the World Bank. Israel’s illegal settlements, security cordons, and hundreds of roadblocks pose the most significant obstacle to the movement of people and goods, the Washington-based bank says in a new assessment. Violence and vandalism by Israeli settlers further deters investment, it adds. 

Honey makes Hebron life a bit sweeter

HEBRON (IRIN) - The toughest part of the West Bank just got a bit sweeter, with an influx of beehives, helping farmers cope with the decline in their economic situation. Stuck between two Israeli settlements, the Palestinian residents of Wadi al-Ghrous in Hebron are surrounded by military bases and fences, their movements are restricted, and over the past 25 years they have been affected by Israeli land expropriations. 

Salam Fayyad's cynical party

The Palestine Investment Conference held from 21 until 23 May in Bethlehem has incited broad resistance from Palestinian popular organizations. In his invitation to investors appointed Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad wrote, “We are throwing a party and the whole world is invited.” EI contributor Adri Nieuwhof writes.