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Sens. Coons, Graham, Kaine, Gardner, Introduce Legislation To Foster Economic Development And Community Ties Between Israelis And Palestinians

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced the Palestinian Partnership Fund Act of 2018. This legislation will promote economic development, help finance joint ventures between Palestinian entrepreneurs and companies in the United States, Israel, and countries in the Middle East, and foster community building to support greater people-to-people cooperation. 

“I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan bill to establish a Palestinian Partnership Fund to encourage venture capitalists to invest money in Palestinian entrepreneurs,” said Senator Coons. “This legislation will promote small businesses and economic growth in the Palestinian territories. The best way to turn people away from violence is by helping them create jobs.  I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important legislation.”

“I am happy to work with my colleagues on this important issue,” said Senator Graham.  “Creating economic opportunities for the Palestinian people outside of the old funding construct is a great way to promote economic opportunity to people who have been systemically abused by their leadership for decades.”

“Promoting economic cooperation and social contact between Israelis and Palestinians is a crucial step toward reconciliation. Our legislation recognizes that the peace process will be intergenerational and forward momentum is not just dependent on political leadership, but on those affected by the conflict in their day-to-day lives. I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce this bipartisan bill that sends a strong signal of Congressional support for joint Israeli and Palestinian endeavors,” Senator Kaine said.

“I am glad to support this bipartisan bill that will increase economic involvement between the Israelis and Palestinians,” said Senator Gardner. “This legislation will be part of the broader work being done to encourage the region to recognize there are more similarities with one another than there are differences.”

The bill text is available here.