'PA are experts at missing opportunities'

Regional Cooperation Minister Akinus attends ceremony to mark launch of Efrat industrial center, laments PA refusal of economic cooperation.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ofir Akunis
Ofir Akunis
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

A ceremony was held Tuesday to begin work on the Industrial, Employment, and High-Tech Area in Efrat.

Minister for Regional Cooperation, Ofir Akinus was in attendance. Edmund Hassin, CEO of the Economic Development Company of Efrat, told the minister that the area would include three main buildings that would provide employment for several hundred Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

Minister Akinus said that while he was in the Mayor’s office, he took a break to participate in a zoom conversation with ministers from several Arab countries. In that conversation, "we discussed regional economic cooperation". He added that unfortunately, "the Palestinian leadership are experts at missing opportunities. The US has announced that it is investing no less than 3 billion dollars through the DFC fund as part of regional cooperation investments."

He said some of these collaborations would be done through "strengthening local leadership, we believe that a strong economy promotes peace and coexistence. If the Palestinians are interested, the door is open". With regard to the local leadership, a number of representatives who came from the surrounding Arab villages approached the Minister and asked for his assistance in strengthening ties.

Mayor Revivi thanked the Minister for coming and for his work in pushing and promoting the industrial area. He added “The Deal of the Century Plan and government policy are slowly seeping into both sides. Palestinians understand that we are here to stay, and we settlers understand that our Palestinian neighbors live alongside us. Once this was understood by both the average citizen and the local leadership, we began to work towards one goal, the pursuit of a good life. The development of the industrial area is exactly a step in the right direction, providing another anchor for the good neighborly relations that are so important to all of us."