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Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy

 Connecting People for Economic Sustainability and Prosperity

What is West Bank integrated business?

  • Integrated business is the concept of Israelis and Palestinians working in joint business ventures in the West Bank leading to mutual economic prosperity as a path toward peace. 

  • The West Bank is home to hundreds of businesses that employ both Israelis and Palestinians – known as integrated employment. 

  • Integrated business takes integrated employment a step further, where companies are jointly built from the ground up by Israelis and Palestinians, rather than just providing jobs to both groups. 

  • Compensation laws and cost of living differ between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), even among those living in the West Bank. However, according to Israeli law, Israeli-controlled areas like Area C must have equal pay and equal working conditions for Israelis and Palestinians. Palestinians who work in this area are going to see better benefits than in PA-controlled land because of this Israeli law.


What is the need for, and origin of, the Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy?


  • This economic solution embraces the shared core needs of shelter, jobs, and stability, creating common ground for Israelis and Palestinians to do business together and providing a viable path for peace in the West Bank.   

  • The Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy was borne out of USIEA’s 2017 bipartisan Congressional tour to the West Bank and Israel, where attendees saw firsthand, and became passionate about, opportunities to bring peace and prosperity to the West Bank. 

  • USIEA was one of the first organizations to pioneer Congressional tours to the West Bank. We strongly believe that the complexity of the West Bank is best understood in person, through the eyes of Israelis and Palestinians living there. 

  • Developing integrated business opportunities in the West Bank includes several benefits that have the potential to yield valuable ROI for both Israelis and Palestinians, including:

    • An expanded workforce, leading to increased collaboration

    • Access to new resources that can improve productivity

    • An expanded customer base, leading to increased sales 

    • Palestinian partnerships leading to more Israeli exports to Arab countries 

    • Lifting Palestinians out of low-income spaces and providing them with opportunities to prosper


Is the Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy time sensitive?

  • Given the ongoing protracted conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that at times erupts into tragic and cyclical violence, integrated business provides a critical opportunity to find common ground prioritizing economic sustainability and prosperity, rather than differences. 


  • While economic integration between Israelis and Palestinians began in 1967 after the Six-Day War, it’s more important than ever to expand those financial collaboration efforts. 


  • The opportunities are ripe for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to use the ecological resources and technological advancements they both have to create prosperous business opportunities that will boost their economies and benefit their people for years to come. 


  • The long-term vision is the formation of a joint economy and an interconnected business network between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank that will lead to lasting peace in the region.


What is MEPPA?


  • The Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) was passed into law in 2020, to increase funding for people-to-people work and for building the Palestinian economy in the West Bank. 

  • MEPPA establishes a fund that can be dispersed through two entities and authorizes up to $250 million over five years, starting with $50 million in FY21 funding.

  • The two entities MEPPA is implemented through are the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and they promote economic cooperation and dialogue to advance a peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians.

  • MEPPA was in part borne out of the Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy and has served as an instrumental pillar of this effort. If, or when, U.S. funding for MEPPA ends, the Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy will still have legs and can continue its momentum through other sources of funding, as well as creating collaborative opportunities between Israelis and Palestinians and enabling cross-border partnerships.


What is Area C?


  • Area C constitutes over half of the West Bank (61%) and is fully under Israeli control. 

  • The land there is the most fertile and has the most opportunities for Palestinian businesses, but there are hesitancies from the U.S. government about funding this specific region.

  • The main hesitation is the misconception that integrated business would make a future two-state solution difficult. However, the opposite is true. Joint business would create an environment for a two-state solution to succeed.

  • It has been a challenge to procure funding specifically for integrated businesses in Area C. Funding from MEPPA for this initiative needs to be directed specifically to businesses in the West Bank that request and apply for grants.


What is USIEA’s role in this integrated business initiative?


  • A large focus of USIEA’s efforts involves educating members of Congress on opportunities for funding integrated businesses in the West Bank among Israelis and Palestinians.

  • USIEA is committed to promoting peace in the Middle East by prioritizing people first. We focus on the men, women, and children affected by the ongoing conflicts and we pursue solutions that improve their day-to-day lives rather than focusing on the politics of physical borders.

Who is USIEA? 

  • U.S. Israel Education Association (USIEA) is a nonprofit that educates bipartisan members of Congress on the U.S.-Israel relationship. Our work is tied to three pillars: bringing members of Congress to Israel and throughout the West Bank, educating on Capitol Hill, and providing thought leadership in the media.

Is there bipartisan support for the Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy?

  • USIEA is very pleased with and proud of the Congressional bipartisan support of this initiative that USIEA has helped to garner, particularly through MEPPA. Many members of Congress see integrated business as a great opportunity for peace and economic prosperity in the West Bank.

Media Inquiries:

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USIEA Congressional Tour to Israel 2023:

Co-Founders of Judea-Samaria Chamber of Commerce, Avi Zimmerman and Ashraf Jabari, discuss Israeli-Palestinian Integrated Business Strategy with members of Congress


USIEA Congressional Tour to Israel 2023:

Ashraf Jabari, Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN) and Heather Johnston, Founder & CEO of USIEA 

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USIEA Congressional Tour to Israel 2023:

Members of Congress with Key Business Leaders in Hebron

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Map of the West Bank

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