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Cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority
through MASHAV,
the Israel Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation

October 1999
Training Activities in the Field of Agriculture   The Tubas-Jaba Project
Training Activities in the Field of Health   Annual Training Program on the Subject of Trauma
Cooperation between El Amal and Barzilai Hospitals   Trilateral Cooperation Agreements with Donor Nations
Employment   Society
Projects   Research
Regional Cooperation    
Related Links
World Health Organization
Fifty-Fourth World Health Assembly
MASHAV: The Israel Foreign Ministry's Development Cooperation Program

MASHAV Activity in the Arab World

Cooperation between MASHAV and the Palestinians (institutional and non-institutional bodies) is receiving special attention due to recognition of the importance of this element to the support and advancement of the peace process, helping to improve the atmosphere between the two peoples and strengthening the ties between professionals on both sides. Lately, with the acceleration of the political process, we are witnesses to increased joint activity with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in particular, and in the region in general.

This activity naturally requires careful planning, and many factors - political, cultural and logistical - must be taken into consideration and adapted to the emerging new reality. This is the reason for the emphasis on the content of the programs, as well as on our partners in their implementation.

Our main activity vis-a-vis the PA continues to be development of direct contact with the ministries responsible for planning and training (Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, Agriculture, Labour, Environment). As a result, an ongoing dialogue exists between MASHAV and PA decision-makers, and between Israeli and Palestinian experts. The degree of involvement on the part of the upper echelon of Palestinians is an indication of the importance with which they regard our activity, and has led to a marked increase in the number of people participating in MASHAV courses in Israel. Furthermore, a professional, even close, network has developed with our colleagues in the various ministries. Following are details of some of MASHAV's activities:

In 1995, only 72 Palestinians participated in MASHAV courses in Israel; in 1996 - 280; in 1997 - 700; in 1998 - 820; and in 1999 - 650 Palestinians have participated so far this year.

The years 1997-99 were a turning point in the scope of training activities, the diversity of subjects and the number of branches dealing with them. During these years, MASHAV activities focused mainly on agriculture, cooperation, rural development, medicine and public health, management, science and technology, education, environment, the role of women in developing countries and conflict resolution.

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Training Activities in the Field of Agriculture

We have established a direct channel of communication with the Minister and Deputy Minister of Agriculture. In 1998, we developed an annual work plan in cooperation with Palestinian representatives and according to criteria presented by them; however, because of the political situation, most of the activity was frozen. With the change of Administration in the Ministry of Agriculture, the new Minister of Agriculture renewed the contact with MASHAV, and a new joint work plan was prepared for 1999, which includes 8 courses (until now, 6 courses were given).

Recently, we have been working with the Egyptian and Jordanian Agriculture Ministries to examine the idea of integrating lecturers from those countries into the agriculture courses intended for the PA.

Training Activities in the Field of Health

In this field we operate through the PA Ministry of Health and two PA NGO's: The Palestinian Council for Health and the Red Crescent. We devote most of the resources to developing the capabilities of the PA Health Services System, public and private, as well as contributing to the existing infrastructure.

The Tubas-Jaba Project: A professional Israeli/Palestinian team created a program for developing community health service, particularly preventive medicine, in the villages of Tubas-Jaba. The purpose of the project was to train Palestinian professionals working in Mother-Infant Clinics and to develop the appropriate infrastructure. Today, the project is in the third and final stage: the training of the clinic directors.

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Annual Training Program on the Subject of Trauma: For the first time, intensive training courses were given at Hadassah Hospital for a Palestinian contingent from the Red Crescent (Gaza), which facilitated the development of cooperation on the subject between the Israeli and Palestinian teams.

Cooperation between El Amal and Barzilai Hospitals: Following the 6-month training program developed by MASHAV and the Red Crescent (headed by Dr. Fat'hi Arafat) for training doctors, nurses and maintenance staff at El-Amal Hospital (located in Khan Yunis), it was decided to upgrade the hospital's trauma unit. The training program is being carried out concurrently at El Amal and Barzilai Hospitals.

Trilateral Cooperation Agreements with Donor Nations

An agreement was signed this year between Israel-Belgium-PA, together with Al Quds University, on the subject of epidemiology. An agreement was signed in 1998 for cooperation between Israel-Great Britain-PA to train doctors from Ramallah Hospital at Hadassah Hospital.

Employment: A training program for employees of the PA Ministry of Labour on the subject of safety and hygiene in the workplace was implemented in conjunction with the Swedish Government over a period of two years.

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Society: For the first time, a Center for Prevention of Drug Abuse was established to help the local population in Gaza. The program was implemented jointly with Al Quds University and the Government of Great Britain, among others. MASHAV provided training courses to professional Palestinian teams (from Gaza and the West Bank), as well as donating suitable equipment.

In addition to agriculture and health, the following subjects have been added: development of small and medium enterprises, management of voluntary organizations and young leadership (Civil Society), training of nature reserve rangers and tourism inspectors.

Projects

A demonstration farm for raising sheep was established in the Jenin area, a joint project with an estimated cost of $250,000.

Research

In the framework of cooperation between Israel and Holland (NIRP Fund), 11 studies were carried out during 1998 together with Israeli and Palestinian universities.

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Regional Cooperation

Regional Agricultural Program: on the initiative of the Danish Government, it was decided to establish a multilateral program with Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the PA, for a period of three years, which would include training, project and research elements and would be composed of regional experts.

Symposium on Management of Water Sources: On the initiative of the Swedish Government, a symposium on the subject was held in March in Beer Sheba, with the participation of researchers from the PA, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Sweden, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The symposium was such a success that another meeting of experts is being planned for the fall of 1999.

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