|Abstract: ||A man-made wall not only divides Palestinians from Israelis but also creates a physical division between economic prosperity and poverty. The physical presence of the wall, its implications, what it symbolizes and the myriad of restrictions that go along with it have been an issue between the two peoples since the inception of the wall. While the wall is a physical reminder of this division, the conflict is decades older. Arguably though since the inception of the wall, and the subsequent tighter restrictions on Palestinians, the division between the two sides has become clearer than in decades past. The paper starts by outlining the parallel historical narratives between Israelis and Palestinians, before diving into the intricacies of the conflict in terms of current events, restrictions in the West Bank, their economic impact and Israeli security concerns.
The different chapters of the paper are designed to answer the following questions in order to gain a better understanding of the current situation in the region: How have the economic and social restrictions Israel has implemented in Palestine, specifically the West Bank, affected Palestinian economic prosperity? What were the security concerns that caused Israel to implement these restrictions? Are there middle ground policies that could help improve the lives of Palestinians while ensuring Israeli security concerns are validated?
While the main focus of the paper remains on the economics of the conflict, the final chapter also illustrates more general policy options that could be implemented to create conditions for peace in the region. On top of creating authentic economic development in Palestine, there is also emphasis on creating opportunities for more equal cooperation and communication between Israelis and Palestinians. This is not only inclusive to the upper echelons of government and activists. It is also important for a more equal coexistence to be created on the people-to-people level as it is in people’s everyday lives that the conflict can be felt the most.|