New group forming to alleviate poverty in Palestinian territories

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has established an investment fund aimed at curbing Palestinian poverty. The fund will help finance the Palestinian People’s Economic Empowerment Institution. The Palestinian government has given instructions to the Ministry of Social Development to prepare to launch the institution in mid-2019. The poor inside Palestine are the institution’s first target, and priority will be given to areas Israel has targeted with economic restrictions such as Gaza, the Jordan Valley, Jerusalem, the areas adjacent to the settlements and the West Bank wall. It will also work to empower women and the poor abroad, particularly those living in Palestinian refugee camps.

#Germany and Islamic Development Bank support Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem

Cancer patients from the Palestinian territories can soon benefit from a new modern diagnosis apparatus, financed by Germany and the Islamic Development Bank. The Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH) in East Jerusalem received a PET/CT scanner which allows modern cancer diagnosis. Mr. Peter Beerwerth, the German Representative in Ramallah praised the valuable work the AVH is doing. AVH, managed by the Lutheran World Federation, is the first and only hospital to provide special therapies in the Palestinian territories. Here, about 1.800 patients are treated yearly. Germany contributed an amount of 1,2 million USD for the PET/CT system. The Islamic Development Bank contributed some 400.000 USD.

Turkey to build tax-free industrial zone in West Bank

Turkey is going to establish an organized industrial zone in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the West Bank, according to a memorandum of understanding co-signed on Wednesday. The memorandum was signed by Turkey's Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik, and Palestine's Deputy Prime Minister and National Economy Minister, Mohammed Mostafa. Investors will not pay any taxes. The goods produced in the zone will be able to be exported to world markets including Germany, France, Saudi Arabia and the US without any duties or quotas. Moreover, the businesses will be insured by the World Bank. The goal is to bring the legal framework and corporate capacity in Palestine to international standards.

Palestinian Startup Souktel Matches Job Seekers, Employers Via Mobile

Palestinian Sadara Ventures has made an investment of about $1 million in the mobile tech venture Souktel. The new venture matches job seekers and employers using basic mobile phone technology. According to the founder and the investors of Souktel, the company will contribute to the alleviation of dire economic situations for many families and help local businesses find qualified talent in areas of conflict.

Banks targeted in Gaza

The Hamas own bank, 'Islamic National Bank', was destroyed on Tuesday in an Israeli strike. Among other targets following was a villa that residents said belonged to Azzam al-Showa, the president of al-Quds Bank, which has no obvious ties to Hamas. No one was home when an Israeli F-16 struck late Tuesday night.

Al-Takaful Palestinian Insurance Co. nine month profit soars 237 per cent

Palestinian insurance company Al-Takaful registered net profit before taxes as high as $586,503 for the first nine months of the year. This is a 237% increase compared to the same period last year, when the net profit before taxes reached only $174,024. Al-Takaful's total assets reached $19,186,332 by the end of September this year - 8.8% more than for the whole of 2011. The total liabilities show an increase of 13.2% from $9,176,092 last year to $10,389,322 this year.

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Islamic National Bank in Gaza as sign of divide

The new Islamic National Bank is regarded as sign of divide between the Palestinians. The Palestinian Monethariy Authority refused the license, being the recognised body according to the Oslo agreement in 1993 and Paris economic agreement on 1994 between the Palestinians and Israelis. Alternatively the bank has sent its establishing papers to the Prime Minister's office in Gaza and they have given it authorisation to start banking activities in Gaza.

Unlike other banks, it has no global serial number (swift code) which makes it impossible to work with other banks around the world or even in the Palestinian territories. The main clientele of the bank are Gaza Government employees, approximately 31,000.

Gaza: Islamic National Bank founded in controversy

In Gaza a new "Islamic National Bank" was started with a capital of USD 20 mn reported Kifah Zaboun in Asharq Al-Awsat. The bank is licensed by Gaza without the consent of the Palestinian Monetary Agency.

The chairman of the bank, Ala Al-Rafati, denied accusations from sources within the Fatah movement which claimed that the bank is affiliated to Hamas saying that the Islamic National Bank is a private institute with a Board of Directors and an Executive Body.

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