In a joint venture with Palestinian and Israeli companies, the London-based charity organization Transformational Business Network (TBN) plans to set up call centers for technical support in Gaza and the West Bank.

The project will be established by the end of 2007 as the TBN is raising an amount of $1.1 million for the project from investors and international donors.

TBN said it can guarantee that the project would not be affected by the frequent closure Israel imposes on the Palestinian territories, as call centers will be run by local operators using modern call routing technology, in close cooperation with the TBN, which was initially present in Beit Jala and Jenin in the West Bank.

The project manager, Jerry Marshall, said the next few months will be crucial. “We have nearly everything in place. I see no reason why this shouldn’t be successful. In Egypt, it has created almost 10,000 jobs in five years. We believe that private enterprise can do more to alleviate poverty than almost anything else in the long term”.

The TBN project across the occupied Palestinian territories is intended to alleviate poverty among the Palestinian population. unemployment rates have risen to approximately 70% in the shadow of the ongoing internationally-imposed economic embargo.