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A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalms 133:1 (The Israel Bible™)
Jerusalem witnessed the launch of a new economic initiative, aimed at advancing business opportunities in Israel’s Biblical heartland (Judea and Samaria) – and with the active support of Israeli and Palestinian business leaders.
The mission of the project, known as the “Judea Samaria Regional Development Financing Initiative” (RDFI) is to integrate economic planning as well as to advance joint entrepreneurship between Israelis and Palestinians who live in Judea and Samaria.
The initiative is based on an existing smaller-scale one – the Judea-Samaria Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JSC), an organization founded on such a partnership by an Israeli, Avi Zimmerman and a Palestinian, Ashraf Jabari.
“We are working on taking down borders, and both Israelis and Palestinians need to take part in this,” said Jabari, a businessman and community leader from Hebron. “We need to breach this wall. We must first create good links and good relationships not just in the West Bank but all over Israel so we can achieve our desired goal.”
It can be difficult for Palestinians and Israelis living in the Biblical heartland to circumvent these barriers – both because of the Palestinian Authority (PA’s) anti-normalization policies and restrictions as a result of the IDF’s security policy in Judea and Samaria.
“The JSC initiated in partnership with US Israel Education Association (USIEA) the Israeli Palestinian International Economic Forum that will promote business opportunities for all of the residents in the region,” said JSC co-founder, Avi Zimmerman.