In the Palestinian Territories, the Netherlands’ overall objective is 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 2017-2018 was a difficult time for the Palestinian Territories, with flare-ups of violence in Gaza, the US and Israeli decisions to withdraw funds from UNRWA and the Palestinian Authority, the increasingly dire situation in Gaza, continuation of settlement expansion, the lack of success in reconciliation between the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank and Gaza, and the limited short-to-medium-term 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.