A Saudi compnany will invest $250 million dollars in a construction project proposed in the Palestine Investment Conference in Bethlehem.
According to the PIC CEO Dr. Hassan Abu Libdeh, the project's estimated cost is $250 million USD and will be in the construction of residential buildings, offices, and a hotel in the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
The PIC which was launched on Wednesday, and will last for three days, with the participation of Arab, international, Israeli investors, in addition to Palestinian business people and delegations.
Among those delegations were the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed All-Nahyian from the UAE royal family, and Mohamed Al Shahly, the secretary of the economy ministry.
The UAE pledged 150 million USD to be invested in construction projects in Jerusalem and Gaza.
Across the street from the conference lies the Al Azza refugee camp, one of the three Palestinian refugee camps in Bethlehem city, Jamal Da'ajnah watching the delegations leaving the conference told IMEMC, that nothing will change on the ground:
"If we continue to live in this big prison and the Israeli occupation and the wall continues to surround us, the money will not change our lives. Does the money make me cross the wall to Jerusalem?"
Da'ajnah added that this conference will only accomplish two things: "One this conference will add to the wealth of the already rich business men, and others. The second thing it will start is a normalization process between Palestinian and Israeli businessmen. This is the only thing they will do, what is really happing is an economical peace, not a real peace."
On the othr hand, the Popular Committee Against the Apartheid Wall in Bethlehem issued a press statement saying that due to the Israeli wall and settlements hinder all kinds of investments and prevent development in the West Bank.
The wall, closures, checkpoints, settlements, control of the natural resources, …are all tools of Israel's occupation that restrict Palestinian self-sustainability and advancement. Therefore, investors as well as politicians should put pressure on Israel to end policies and restrictions that hinder all kinds of investments and prevent development, especially those restrictions that violate Palestinian basic rights."
109 projects are expected to be presented at the conference Thursday and Friday.