A collapse in the making in Palestine

Sam Bahour
5 min readSep 28, 2022

The World Bank, with two pairs of gloves on, documents the forthcoming series of events.

The infamous Oslo Accords were a pair of agreements signed between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): the Oslo I Accord, signed in Washington, D.C., in 1993; and the Oslo II Accord, signed in Taba, Egypt, in 1995. They marked the start of the Oslo process, a peace process aimed at achieving a peace treaty between the two parties within five years. They failed, catastrophically.

In parallel to this political track, a group of states came together in 1993 to underwrite Palestinian’s economic needs, assumingly fully aware of the lopsided Oslo Accords which did not give Palestinians a fighting chance to create a sustainable — or even functioning — economy. This group of states is known as the “Donor Community” (formally, the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee) and they continue to underwrite the Palestinian government through today. The day they stop relieving Israel from its obligations under international law and stop funding this deteriorating reality is the day the Palestinian government collapses.

The “Donor Community” meets twice a year, with the latest meeting being held last week in New York on the sidelines of the UN’s 77th General Assembly’s Annual Debate. The World Bank Group (World Bank, IFC, MIGA) provides these meetings with a report on Palestinian economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. These reports are titled, “Economic Monitoring Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee”.

Since most people will not venture to read these long reports, I took the liberty to extract a few telling quotes from this latest 41-page report, dated September 22nd, 2022. I was selective in choosing the quotes to make a point that we all see where we are headed, including the World Bank. Each quote has a context that deserves attention, and the report has some positive developments too, albeit minor in the bigger picture.

I have a lot to say about what’s in this report, and even more to say on what’s absent from the report, but for this article’s purposes, I will let the reader reach their own conclusions.

“After accounting for donor financing and deductions made by the Government of Israel (GoI) from clearance revenues, the PA

Sam Bahour

Writer, businessperson, activist.