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A plan for Palestine’s peace and prosperity | The Economist

Can Palestine become a prosperous and peaceful region? Munib al-Masri is the richest Palestinian in the world and he has a four-point plan to rebuild his homeland.

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This man is known as “The Godfather of Palestine’. He’s a self made billionaire. Munib al-Masri is the richest man in Palestine and also one of the most influential.

For more than 40 years he’s acted as mediator in Arab-Israeli peace talks. Now, at the age of 83, Mr Masri believes he has the formula to make his homeland prosper on the world stage. This is his four-point plan for peace and prosperity in Palestine.

Decades of conflict have taken their toll on this region, around a quarter of Palestinians live in poverty. Economic growth has been stifled by wide ranging restrictions imposed by Israel. But it’s also been hindered by infighting between rival Palestinian political parties, Fatah and Hamas.

Hope for unity came in October 2017, when Fatah and Hamas signed a peace deal. But such pacts in the past have collapsed. Now, Mr Masri wants the Israelis to decide if they can live in peace alongside Palestine.

Decades of peace talks have failed. Palestinians have also been criticised for their indecision. But the peace process is expected to start again when President Trump unveils a new plan in January 2018. While he’s waiting to see what the Israelis bring to the table, Mr Masri wants to improve the Palestinian’s quality of life.

People in Gaza live with severe water shortages and receive only a few hours of electricity per day. A recent UN report described conditions in Gaza as almost unliveable. Mr Masri is inviting foreign investment into Gaza and the West Bank, to rebuild infrastructure and boost the economy.

But to realise his dream of a flourishing, prosperous Palestine, Mr Masri has one final point in his plan. Changing Palestine’s image.

Decades of fighting have sapped the hopes and dreams of many Palestinians, meaning they fail to reach their full potential. With this four-point plan, Mr Masri hopes he’ll live to see Palestine back on its feet.

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