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Palestinian industrial parks: Boon or bondage?

The Jenin industrial project is scheduled to start operating this year, with opponents claiming that such projects are in direct conflict with the Palestinian Authority's goal of becoming a fully independent and sovereign state.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestine's industrial parks are flourishing, which proponents believe will boost the economy and bring new jobs. Critics, however, see the projects as economic appeasement that will ultimately give Israel more control over Palestinians, rather than bring independence through negotiations and political solutions.

The Jenin Industrial Free Zone, one of the largest industrial parks in Palestine, is scheduled to begin operating this year. It was built on 230 acres of Jezreel Valley agricultural land in the city of Jenin, after a dispute was resolved between the farmers who owned the land and the Palestinian government, according to the Palestinian Industrial Estates & Free Zones Authority.

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