By: Doug Suisman, Steven Simon, Glenn Robinson, C. Ross Anthony, Michael Schoenbaum
Creating a successful Palestinian state poses a wide range of political, economic, social, and environmental challenges. In the July eBook of the Month, researchers from the RAND Corporation provide an in-depth and comprehensive nation-building plan to overcome these obstacles, as well as a design to meet the population’s infrastructure needs.
Researchers estimate that the population of the West Bank and Gaza may reach 6.6 million by 2020, because of natural population growth and immigration. Thus Palestine’s infrastructure, inadequate even for current needs, will soon have to support perhaps twice as many people. Palestine’s crumbling infrastructure presents a major challenge for a new Palestinian state. Yet it also provides an opportunity to plan for sustainable development.
The proposals outlined in The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State include a landmark infrastructure corridor that runs up the spine of the West Bank and also links the West Bank and Gaza. The proposal would promote dramatic new development in Palestine and would give Palestinians new access to jobs, food, water, education, health care, housing and public services and would help improve the lives of Palestinians and begin laying the groundwork to sustain long-term development in a future state.
The corridor would support a high-speed 140-mile interurban rail line, highway, aqueduct, energy network and fiber optic cable linking Palestine’s major towns and cities. This would act as a catalyst to generate housing, jobs and business development. Construction of the Arc would create an estimated 100,000 to 160,000 jobs for Palestinians over five years, on top of thousands more jobs in new businesses built along the corridor. It would also foster revitalization of historic city centers and preserve forests, nature reserves and agricultural land.
Rather than being a blueprint to be followed in every detail, The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State is designed to provide helpful ideas that Palestinians and other involved parties can study and develop further to best meet the needs of the Palestinian people. Provided through the generous support of the RAND Corporation, The Arc: A Formal Structure for a Palestinian State is part of a multivolume study that offers the most comprehensive recommendations ever made for the success of an independent Palestinian state. Companion volumes Building a Successful Palestinian State and Building a Successful Palestinian State: Security identify policy options that Palestinians, Israelis and the international community could adopt to promote the state’s success.
About the RAND Corporation
The RAND Corporation (www.rand.org) is a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world.