Countries‎ > ‎Turkey‎ > ‎21.02.2014‎ > ‎

Turkey to send $5 million to Palestinian Authority next week

Palestinian Ambassador to Turkey Nabil Maarouf has stated that the Turkish government will transfer $5 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA) next week.

“We are expecting the transfer by Monday of next week. This $5 million is part of the $10 million fund the Turkish government has agreed to transfer to the Palestinian Authority. The other $5 million will be received within the coming months,” Maarouf told Today's Zaman.

Maarouf added that the money would be used to expropriate private land from the current Palestinian owners in order to establish an industrial zone in Jenin in the northern West Bank.

“This fund will allow the starting of an industrial zone in Jenin. Work on infrastructure for the industrial zone will start once the purchase is completed,” added Maarouf.

The Turkish government and the PA had previously signed an agreement in October of 2011 according to which Turkey agreed to pay $10 million to fund the purchase of land in Jenin in order to build an industrial zone.

Maarouf noted that the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) was responsible for the project of purchasing the land in Jenin.

TOBB Chairman Rıfat Hısarcıklıoğlu first brought up the issue of establishing an industrial zone in Gaza in 2005. The location of the project was later changed to Palestine's Jenin region on the border between Israel and Palestine.

There was little progress due to problems in relations with Palestine's neighbor Israel until late November, when TOBB and the Palestinian government signed a contract to allocate a 1-million-square-meter plot of land to TOBB.

The Jenin industrial zone is expected to provide employment for 6,000 Palestinians as well as attract to Turkish industrialists who will benefit from the customs and quota-free trade advantages of the State of Palestine.

The project envisages products produced in the Jenin zone being exported to global markets via Israel's Haifa port. This should help mitigate the discriminatory policies of Israeli customs authorities, which Palestinian businessmen have long suffered from, observers argue.

The PA budget is heavily dependent on external donor aid, while Israeli restrictions on movement and trade have severely hampered economic growth.

The majority of international aid to the PA comes from the US and Europe, but in recent years Arab countries and Turkey have contributed increasing amounts.