In the Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands’ overall objectives are to create a more enabling environment for conflict resolution and to realise a two-state solution in which an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state is achieved with access to its own (natural) resources, alongside a secure, internationally recognised Israel.
The reporting period of 2018-2019 was again challenging for the Palestinian Territories with continuing flare-ups of violence in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority experiencing a fiscal crisis, which affected the purchasing power of the Palestinian population, further continuation of settlement expansion, lack of progress in achieving reconciliation between the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza, and no viable prospects for peace.
Our activities focused on Security and Rule of Law (strengthening the countervailing power of civil society and Access to Justice), economic development (creating job opportunities for Palestinians in the IT sector and agriculture) and trade (finding practical solutions to remove barriers to trade, including lowering transaction costs for Palestinian businesses). Our efforts in the water sector focused on service delivery to marginalised and underserved communities and on waste water. In the field of food and nutrition security, our priority was to enable farmers to better cultivate their land and create stronger agro-businesses. Development co-operation in this challenging political context is not easy but the results achieved are mostly in line with our targets.