Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority

, November 5, 2015

House of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi

House of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi

In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.

Researchers: Yael Kaplan, Ryan Hartney, and Andrew Felsenthal

Contents:

Introduction
Palestinian Refugees
The Other Side of the West Bank Palestinian Story
Palestinian Quality of Life in the West Bank – Indicators
Foreign Aid
Poverty
Life Expectancy
Infant Mortality
Literacy
Education
Water Resources
Palestinian Employment in Israel
Happiness
A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank
Ramallah
Nablus
Bethlehem
Hebron
Jenin
Tubas
Tulkarem
Kalkilya
Turmus Ayya
Rawabi
Mazraa ash-Sharqiya
Birzeit
Jericho
Kharas

Introduction

When we think of the Palestinian areas of the West Bank, we think of refugee camps like these.

Balata refugee camp near Nablus

Balata refugee camp near Nablus1

Balata refugee camp near Nablus

Balata refugee camp near Nablus2

Beit Jibrin refugee camp in Bethlehem

Beit Jibrin refugee camp in Bethlehem3

Jenin refugee camp

Jenin refugee camp4

Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem

Deheishe refugee camp in Bethlehem5

Palestinian Refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines a refugee as someone who, “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”6

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) defines Palestinians as “persons whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.” The descendants of male Palestinian refugees, including adopted children, are also eligible for registration. When the Agency began operations in 1950, it was responding to the needs of about 750,000 Palestine refugees. Today, some 5 million Palestine refugees are eligible for UNRWA services. 7

This unorthodox UNRWA definition of “refugee” eternalizes the Palestinian refugee problem. Sixty-three years is time enough for three, perhaps four, generations. Imagine the grandchildren or great-grandchildren of Jewish refugees who came to the U.S. after the Holocaust referring to themselves as refugees.8

Moreover, given the UN definition of a refugee is someone “outside the country of his nationality,” how can there be refugees living within the Palestinian Authority?

As of July 1, 2014, 762,288 refugees were said to be living in 19 camps spread out in the West Bank.9 Over the past 67 years the UN and the U.S. have poured billions into the camps to upgrade living conditions. What Palestinian advocates like to call “camp shelters” are typically 4-5 story concrete apartment buildings with electricity, kitchens, satellite television and municipal garbage collection.  According to the UN, 99.8% of camp shelters are “connected to water networks” and 87% are “connected to sewerage networks.”10

The Economist reported that by 2013 almost 70 percent of West Bank Palestinian refugees lived outside the refugee camps.11  However, the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) seeks to maintain the camps and opposes and prevents refugee resettlement. As the PLO slogan goes, A Palestinian refugee never moves out of his camp except to return home (i.e., to Israel). 12

Unlike all other refugees in previous centuries who were absorbed in their countries of residence, the issue of Palestinian refugees remains on the world agenda due to a political decision by the Arab states to keep them as “refugees.”

After the 1948 war, Jordan and Egypt could have absorbed the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, which they controlled as part of their own countries. Yet the political motivations of the Arabs for keeping the Palestinian refugee issue alive are clear. Both Arab governments and the Arab League opposed granting citizenship to Palestinian refugees in their countries because it would undermine the use of the right of return to eliminate the Jewish state. The end result was that the Palestinian refugees became political pawns.13

This fact was stated succinctly by the former head of UNRWA, Ralph Galloway: “The Arab states do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore, as an affront to the UN, and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders do not give a damn whether Arab refugees live or die.”14

Moreover, calling these people refugees makes no sense. Few if any live in tent camps or temporary residences. Most own their homes and live in areas of towns that can be classified as working class neighborhoods. Rather than refugees, they are simply the recipients of assistance, mainly for education and health.15

The Other Side of the West Bank Palestinian Story

There is more to this story, a side often overlooked. In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. After receiving billions of dollars in Western aid over many decades, major improvements are visible in the standard of living in the West Bank, as seen in newly-constructed buildings, late-model cars, and luxury items.

This study offers an often overlooked window into life in the Palestinian Authority. The empirical data, together with the photographic evidence sourced here, provide a more complete picture of living standards in the West Bank.  The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.

Marwan Asmar, a Jordan-based journalist with a PhD in political science from Leeds University in the UK, described this phenomenon upon returning to the West Bank after 30 years:

There has been a total transformation since I was last in Howara in the West Bank in 1985. One can see a buzz of activity at the shops, restaurants, offices and cafes. This wasn’t the sleepy village I saw long ago. Buildings, villas, mosques and rest areas have been constructed everywhere. There is even a swimming pool.

This was certainly not the picture I had in mind. This was not the picture the media presents – of Palestinians surviving on daily wages of $2 as pointed out by the World Bank, of high unemployment and pockets of poverty. The people I spoke to here said many worked as laborers in Israel and were paid high daily wages. This is how they could build their houses, they told me.16

As speculation continues about renewing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it is important to understand how the quality of life in the West Bank has improved and how a new Palestinian society is emerging – one that requires a changed perception of the reality of Palestinian life.

While the Arab world is in the throes of a major melt-down – with widespread violence and destruction in Syria and Iraq, together with serious instability in Lebanon and Egypt – daily life for Arabs in the West Bank offers a stark contrast to those scenes of violence and decline.

Palestinian Quality of Life in the West Bank – Indicators

Foreign Aid

Since the establishment of Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza in the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has committed approximately $5 billion in bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, who are among the world’s largest per capita recipients of international foreign aid.17 Overall, Palestinians receive approximately $2 billion in aid each year.18 Palestinian economic analysts estimate that the PA has received a total of $25 billion in financial aid during the past two decades.19

Poverty

The CIA World Factbook reported the poverty rate in the West Bank as 18% in 2011,20 in contrast to Israel’s poverty rate in 2012 of 21%.21

Life Expectancy

In 2015, life expectancy in the West Bank was 76 years.22  This was notably higher than the life expectancy in Arab states of 71 years (in 2012), and the average life expectancy around the world of 70 years.23

Infant Mortality

In 2015, the infant mortality rate in the West Bank and Gaza was 13 per 1,000 live births,24 compared with 27 per 1,000 live births in the Arab states in 2013 and 36.58 per 1,000 live births in the world in 2014.25

Literacy

In 2015 the literacy rate for people aged 15 and above in the West Bank and Gaza was 96.5%.26

Education

In 2011, when Palestinians were asked “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the education system?” 63.5% answered “satisfied”, a higher percentage than the U.S. (62.8), Netherlands (60.3), Sweden (61.6) or Japan (54.6).27  The overall percentage in Arab states was 50.0%.28

Water Resources29

Palestinians insist that they suffer from water shortages due to Israeli policies. However, data shows that Israel has fulfilled all of its obligations according to the signed water agreements with the PA. The development of water supply systems for Palestinian communities has been carried out on an extensive scale, much larger than that called for in the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement.

From 1967-1995 (prior to the signing of the Interim Agreement), the total amount of water supplied to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria increased from 66 to 120 million cubic meters per year. This additional water was mainly used for domestic consumption. During this period, the number of towns and villages connected to running water through modern supply systems increased from four to 309 communities. In March 2010, 641 of 708 Palestinian communities, which include more than 96 percent of the Palestinian population, were found to be connected to a running water network. Water supply networks for an additional 16 villages (encompassing an additional 2.5 percent of the population) were under construction.

Palestinians claim that the water consumption of the average Israeli is four times greater than that of the average Palestinian. However, this claim is not factually supported. In 1967, there was indeed a large gap in the per capita consumption of water between Israelis and Palestinians due to the ancient water supply systems that existed in the West Bank under British and then Jordanian rule, which needed upgrading. This gap, however, was reduced during the Israeli administration period and the difference is now negligible. The per capita consumption of natural, fresh water in Israel is 150 m3/c/y and in the PA 140 m3/c/y.

In Jordan and Syria, most towns and villages are still not connected to running water. In Amman and Damascus, water distribution takes place only once or twice each week. According to the PA, roughly 33.6 percent of their water leaks from internal pipelines, compared with 11 percent in Israel. Moreover, the Palestinians have violated their part of the water agreements by refusing to build sewage treatment plants (despite available international financing). Thus, raw sewage discharged from Palestinian communities flows freely in many streams in the West Bank.

Palestinian Employment in Israel30

In 2014, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, the official newspaper of the Palestinian Authority, published an article lauding Israeli employers for their treatment of Palestinian workers in Israel. The article stated, “Whenever Palestinian workers have the opportunity to work for Israeli employers, they are quick to quit their jobs with their Palestinian employers – for reasons having to do with salaries and other rights….The salaries of workers employed by Palestinians amount to less than half the salaries of those who work for Israeli employers.”

“The [Israeli] work conditions are very good, and include transportation, medical insurance and pensions. These things do not exist with Palestinian employers….Muhammad Al-Hinnawi, a construction worker, says: ‘I receive a daily salary of 70 shekels, without pension, and I have no other choice.’ By contrast, Thaer Al-Louzi, who used to work for an Israeli concrete factory, notes: ‘I received a salary of 140 shekels a day. Now, after I was injured, I receive a salary through the insurance.'”

According to Bassem Eid, founder of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, 92,000 Arabs from the West Bank work in Israel each day.31

Happiness

According to the 2012 Happy Planet Index – a survey conducted by the New Economics Forum to measure happiness around the world – the Palestinian Authority was the third happiest Arab country and the 30th happiest in the world, making the PA happier than many developed countries like the U.S., UK, Sweden, Australia and Canada.

  1. Algeria – 52.2
  2. Jordan – 51.7
  3. Palestinian Authority – 51.2
  4. Iraq – 49.2
  5. Tunisia – 48.3
  6. Morocco – 47.9
  7. Syria – 47.1
  8. Saudi Arabia – 46.0
  9. Yemen – 43.0
  10. Lebanon – 42.9
  11. Libya – 40.8
  12. Egypt – 39.6
  13. Sudan – 37.6
  14. Djibouti – 37.2
  15. Comoros – 36.5
  16. Mauritania – 32.3
  17. UAE – 31.8
  18. Kuwait – 27.1
  19. Bahrain – 26.6
  20. Qatar – 25.232

A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank

Completing the Picture of Palestinian Life in the West Bank33

Ramallah’s landscape is undergoing a transformation. Multi-story villas fronted by ornamental porticos and columns are rising on Ramallah’s hilltops along with glass and marble office buildings. There are newly paved roads. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts opened Ramallah’s first five-star hotel. The 172-room, $40 million hotel boasts a head chef imported from Florence, a pastry chef from Paris, and a lobby bedecked in marble and Italian suede.

Across the West Bank, similar scenes are unfolding. Building cranes pierce the sky. Outside Nablus, new car dealerships sell everything from BMWs to Hyundais. In Ramallah, the Mercedes dealership does a brisk business selling luxury-class sports cars and sport-utility vehicles to wealthy Palestinians with sticker prices ranging from $100,000 to $200,000. The Hirbawi Home Center opened just outside Jenin. The five-story shopping mall cost $5 million. Fireworks marked the opening. On the fifth floor in-demand electric gadgets may be found: enormous TV screens, vacuum cleaners, espresso machines. The prices are not much cheaper than in Israel, perhaps except for the furniture. One can find china plates, crystal, and classical furniture. The chain’s CEO, Ziad Turabi, says, “We believe we can make a very handsome profit. Many people in the…territories have money but they have nowhere to spend it if they’re after quality. We offer them the best quality there is.”

This may not sound like the familiar description of the West Bank – the impoverished Palestinian village or the overcrowded refugee camp, a population sustaining itself on international aid. But it turns out that quite a few Palestinians consider a plasma screen, a surround sound stereo and comfortable chairs to be fairly essential items.

The West Bank: Cities and Towns Featured in the Photos

The West Bank

The West Bank

Ramallah

“In Ramallah it is difficult to get a table in a good restaurant. There are new apartment buildings, banks, brokerage firms, luxury car dealerships and health clubs.”34

The Palestine Trade Tower in Ramallah

The Palestine Trade Tower in Ramallah is claimed to be the tallest building in the Palestinian Authority.35

Bank of Palestine in Ramallah

Bank of Palestine in Ramallah36

Padico House in Ramallah

Padico House in Ramallah37

ASAL Technologies building in Ramallah

ASAL Technologies building in Ramallah38

Palestine Red Crescent Building in Ramallah

Palestine Red Crescent Building in Ramallah39

Jawwal cell phone company in el-Bireh, next to Ramallah

Jawwal cell phone company in el-Bireh, next to Ramallah40

Ramallah tower

Ramallah tower41

Bank of Palestine

Bank of Palestine42

Plaza Mall in Al Bireh just north of Ramallah

Plaza Mall in Al Bireh just north of Ramallah43

Kerish Motor Mall in Beitunia, 3 km. west of Ramallah

Kerish Motor Mall in Beitunia, 3 km. west of Ramallah44

The house of Yusuf al-Kifayah in Beitunia

The house of Yusuf al-Kifayah in Beitunia45

Arab Mansion in Ramallah

Arab Mansion in Ramallah46

Ramallah

Ramallah47

The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah

The Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center in Ramallah48

The Dubai building in Ramallah’s upscale Al-Masyoun neighborhood

The Dubai building in Ramallah’s upscale Al-Masyoun neighborhood49

A villa in Ramallah

A villa in Ramallah50

Ethiad, a new district of Ramallah

Ethiad, a new district of Ramallah51

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah52

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah53

An event hall in the Moevenpick Hotel in Ramallah

An event hall in the Moevenpick Hotel in Ramallah54

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah

Movenpick Hotel in Ramallah55

Grand Park Hotel, Ramallah

Grand Park Hotel, Ramallah56

The Caesar Hotel, Ramallah

The Caesar Hotel, Ramallah57

Sky Land Park in Ramallah

Sky Land Park in Ramallah58

The Palestinian President’s Headquarters at Al Muqata'a in Ramallah

The Palestinian President’s Headquarters at Al Muqata’a in Ramallah59

Al Muqata’a - Palestinian Authority Headquarters

Al Muqata’a – Palestinian Authority Headquarters60

Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah

Yasser Arafat’s mausoleum in Ramallah61

Nablus

The West Bank’s largest city, Nablus, is bursting with energy, life and signs of prosperity. Bashir al-Shakah, director of Nablus’s gleaming Cinema City, where four of the latest Hollywood hits were playing, said most movies were sold out. In downtown Nablus the shops and restaurants were full. There were plenty of expensive cars on the streets. Indeed, there were considerably more BMWs and Mercedes than in downtown Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.62

Mansion of Munib Al Masri’s in Nablus

Mansion of Munib Al Masri’s in Nablus63

An-Najah National University Hospital in Nablus

An-Najah National University Hospital in Nablus64

The Tuqan Building in Nablus

The Tuqan Building in Nablus65

The Nablus Mall

The Nablus Mall66

Nablus Mall

Nablus Mall67

Wasef Al-Haj Ahmed Amer Company Building in Nablus

Wasef Al-Haj Ahmed Amer Company Building in Nablus68

Marwan Jomaa’s villa in Nablus

Marwan Jomaa’s villa in Nablus69

Khalid Abaza’s villa in Nablus

Khalid Abaza’s villa in Nablus70

Al Aker Kindergarten in Nablus

Al Aker Kindergarten in Nablus71

Bethlehem

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate72

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate73

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate

Villa in Beit Jala, in the Bethlehem Governorate74

The balcony of the Jacir Palace Hotel overlooking the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem

The balcony of the Jacir Palace Hotel overlooking the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem75

The Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem

The Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem76

The Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem

The Jacir Palace Hotel in Bethlehem77

Grand Park Hotel in Bethlehem

Grand Park Hotel in Bethlehem78

St. Vincent Guest House in Bethlehem

St. Vincent Guest House in Bethlehem79

The Bethlehem Museum

The Bethlehem Museum80

Hebron

“The shops and restaurants were full in Hebron. Villas comparable in size to those on the Cote d’Azur or Bel Air had sprung up on the hills around the city.”81

Hebron

Hebron82

Bank of Palestine in Hebron

Bank of Palestine in Hebron83

Hebron Plaza Shopping Center

Hebron Plaza Shopping Center84

The City Center complex in Hebron

The City Center complex in Hebron85

Manara Square in Hebron

Manara Square in Hebron86

Hussain Ben Ali Stadium, Hebron

Hussain Ben Ali Stadium, Hebron87

Near Sakha Square in Hebron

Near Sakha Square in Hebron88

Hebron University entrance

Hebron University entrance89

Hebron covered in snow on December 13, 2013

Hebron covered in snow on December 13, 201390

Hebron, March 2015

Hebron, March 201591

Hebron, March 2015

Hebron, March 201592

Sa’ir Municipality, north of Hebron

Sa’ir Municipality, north of Hebron93

Jenin

The Arab American University of Jenin

The Arab American University of Jenin94

Ibrahim Haddad’s Villa in Jenin

Ibrahim Haddad’s Villa in Jenin95

Tubas

House of Muhannad Al-Hadiri in Tubas

House of Muhannad Al-Hadiri in Tubas96

The Maslmani villa in Tubas

The Maslmani villa in Tubas97

Tulkarem

The Tayeh Building in Tulkarem

The Tayeh Building in Tulkarem98

Villa Thabet Omar in Tulkarem

Villa Thabet Omar in Tulkarem99

Iyad Qasem Villa in Tulkarem

Iyad Qasem Villa in Tulkarem100

Palestine Technical University in Tulkarem

Palestine Technical University in Tulkarem101

Kalkilya

The Mecca project in Kalkilya

The Mecca project in Kalkilya102

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya103

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya104

Ahmed Kassem in front of his villa of in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya

Ahmed Kassem in front of his villa of in the West Bank village of Turmus Aya105

Home of Taiseer Alkam in Turmus Aya

Home of Taiseer Alkam in Turmus Aya106

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya107

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya108

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya109

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya110

Turmus Ayya

Turmus Ayya111

Rawabi

The new Palestinian city of Rawabi

The new Palestinian city of Rawabi112

The new city of Rawabi

The new city of Rawabi113

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya114

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya Villa

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya Villa115

Marzaa ash-Sharqiya villa

Marzaa ash-Sharqiya villa116

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya villa

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya villa117

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya (under construction)

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya (under construction)118

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya119

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya Sports Complex

Mazraa ash-Sharqiya Sports Complex120

Birzeit

Birzeit University

Birzeit University121

Jericho

Bab ash-Shams resort near Jericho

Bab ash-Shams resort near Jericho122

Jericho Village resort

Jericho Village resort123

Kharas

House of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi

House of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi124

Kharas

Kharas125

Kharas

Kharas126

Kharas

Kharas127

 

* * *

Notes

1. Khaled Abu Toameh, “PA Arrests Residents of West Bank’s Balata Refugee Camp, Sparking Unrest in Area,” Jerusalem Post, April 13, 2015, http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Gunmen-from-the-Balata-refugee-camp-396946

2. Annainthemiddleeast.com, “Balata Refugee Camp,” http://annainthemiddleeast.com/photos/refugee_camps/balata/134/

3. DennisFox.Net, “Dennis Fox’s Israel/Palestine Photos,” December 29, 2004, http://photo.dennisfox.net/galleries/2005/israelpalestine/refugeecamps/pages/page_2.html

4. DennisFox.Net, “Dennis Fox’s Israel/Palestine Photos,” January 8, 2005, http://photo.dennisfox.net/galleries/2005/israelpalestine/refugeecamps/pages/page_19.html

5. Ruben’s Blog, “Be Seeing You!” August 14, 2010, https://rubenopreis.wordpress.com/

6. UNHCR, “Refugees: Flowing Across Borders,” http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c125.html

7. UNRWA, “Palestine Refugees,” http://www.unrwa.org/palestine-refugees

8. Peter Wilson, “The Myth of the Palestinian ‘Refugee Camps’,” American Thinker, May 24, 2011, http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2011/05/the_myth_of_the_palestinian_re.html

9. UNRWA, “Where We Work,” July 1, 2014, http://www.unrwa.org/where-we-work/west-bank

10. Wilson, “The Myth of the Palestinian ‘Refugee Camps’.”

11. “A New Type of Settlement,” The Economist, October 12, 2013, http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21587846-some-palestinians-want-their-people-abandon-refugee-camps-without-demanding

12. Alex Safian, “Why Palestinians Still Live in Refugee Camps,” Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, http://www.camera.org/index.asp?x_context=18&x_article=960

13. Sidney Zabludoff, “The Palestinian Refugee Issue: Rhetoric vs. Reality,” Jewish Political Studies Review, v. 20, no. 1-2 (Spring 2008),  http://jcpa.org/article/the-palestinian-refugee-issue-rhetoric-vs-reality/

14. Terence Prittie, “Middle East Refugees,” in Michael Curtis et al., eds., The Palestinians: People History, Politics (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1975), p. 71.

15. Zabludoff, “The Palestinian Refugee Issue.”

16. Marwan Asmar, “A Trip into the Heart of Palestine,” Gulf News (Dubai), June 17, 2015, http://gulfnews.com/culture/people/a-trip-into-the-heart-of-palestine-1.1536536.

17. Jim Zanotti, “U.S. Foreign Aid to the Palestinians,” Congressional Research Service, July 3, 2014, https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22967.pdf..

18. Global Humanitarian Assistance, “Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2015,” June 2015, http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/GHA-Report-2015_-Interactive_Online.pdf p – 141

19. Khaled Abu Toameh, “What Are Palestinians Doing with U.S. Money?,” Gatestone Institute, August 19, 2015, http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6353/palestinians-us-aid

20. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html

21. CIA, “The World Factbook: Israel,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 10, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/is.html

22. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html

23. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 25

24. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html

25. CIA, “The World Factbook: World,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/xx.html The World Bank, “Arab World,” Word Bank Group, Date Unknown, http://data.worldbank.org/region/ARB

26. CIA, “The World Factbook: West Bank,” Central Intelligence Agency, August 6, 2015, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/geos/we.html

27. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 171

28. UNDP, “Human Development Report 2013,” UNDP, 2013, http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf p – 40

29. Haim Gvirtzman, “The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective,” Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, January 2012, http://www.biu.ac.il/SOC/besa/MSPS94.pdf. The writer is a professor of hydrology at the Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a member of the Israel Water Authority Council.

30. Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. “Official PA Daily Lauds Israel’s Treatment of Palestinian Workers – PMW Bulletins,” www.palwatch.org. Palestinian Media Watch, September 23, 2014. http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=12696, See also “Palestinian Workers Treated Better in Israel,” I24news.tv. September 24, 2014 http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/middle-east/44941-140924-palestinian-workers-treated-better-in-israel

31. “Palestinian Human Rights Campaigner Excoriates Palestinian Leadership,” J-Wire, August 27, 2015, http://www.jwire.com.au/palestinian-human-rights-campaigner-excoriates-palestinian-leadership/

32. Happy Planet Index, “The Data,” Happy Planet Index, 2012, http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/

33. Stacy Perman, “A National Economy – Without the Nation, Time, October 11, 2010, www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2022572-1,00.html; “How Palestinians Really Live.” San Francisco Sentinel. December 20, 2010, http://www.sanfranciscosentinel.com/?p=99842; Avi Issacharoff, “Luxury Palestinian Mall Signals Transformation of ‘Terror Capital’,” Ha’aretz, June 21, 2009, http://www.haaretz.com/beta/luxury-palestinian-mall-signals-transformation-of-terror-capital-1.278478; Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis, “When we talked about ‘Starvation’ we Meant Plasma TVs and Café Latte,” October 19, 2010, http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001144.html

34. Tom Gross, “Building Peace without Obama’s Interference,” Wall Street Journal Europe, December 2, 2009, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704107104574571491401847518

35. Booking.Com, “فندق فلسطين بلازا” April 1, 2014, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/palestine-plaza.ar.html

36. IsraelArabConflict, “Snapshots from ‘Poor’ Palestine,” February 14, 2014, http://hthor.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/thanks-for-your-valuable-contribution.html

37. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/83365135

38. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/87638784

39. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/21842336

40. Palestine Cellular Communications Co.,Ltd “Jawwal,” http://www.pita.ps/content/palestine-cellular-communications-coltd-%E2%80%9Cjawwal%E2%80%9D

41. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/52173672

42. Facebook, “Kay Wilson,” July 11, https://www.facebook.com/kishkushkay/posts/10153041292793927

43. Pam Olson, “Fast Times in Palestine,” http://www.pamolson.org/photos.htm

44. Wikimapia, “Kerish Motor Mall (Beitunia),” http://wikimapia.org/30485223/Kerish-Motor-Mall

45. Wikimapia, “Beitunia Recent Photos,” http://beitunia.wikimapia.org/en/photos/

46. Panoramio, “Big Mansion in Ramallah,” http://www.panoramio.com/photo/5874415

47. Elder of Zion, “Documenting the Differences Between Opulent Ramallah and a Squalid UNRWA Camp,” July 13, 2015, http://elderofziyon.blogspot.co.il/2015/07/documenting-differences-between-opulent.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed#.VaOw5_lVikp

48. Facebook, “Khalil Sakakini Cultural Center,” June 5, 2014, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Khalil-Sakakini-Cultural-Center/378848385477392?sk=info

49. Nabali Fares, “مشروع دبي”, http://nabalifares.ps/index.php/2014-09-28-20-53-27/2014-10-01-19-38-08/item/231-2014-10-01-19-57-29.html

50. 4321 Property, “Villa Ramalah,” http://www.4321property.com/palestine/ad694731/ (Accessed on August 23, 2015)

51.Julien Goldstein Photographer, “Ramallah,” http://www.juliengoldstein.com/portfolio/stories/ramallah/

52. Flickr, “Movenpick Hotel Ramallah,” July 11, 2012, https://www.flickr.com/photos/audunbakkeandersen/7627684540

53. Booking.Com “فندق موفنبيك رام الله” March 3, 2011, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/moevenpick-ramallah.html

54.Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, “Movenpick Hotel Ramallah,” http://www.moevenpick-hotels.com/ar/middle-east/palestine/ramallah/hotel-ramallah/meetings/

55. Yamsafer, “Movenpick Hotel Ramallah,” https://www.yamsafer.me/en/Palestine/Ramallah/hotel/m%C3%B6venpick-hotel-ramallah#/

56. Grand Park Hotel, “Wedding,” http://www.grandpark.com/etemplate.php?id=44&menu=124

57. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/52173506

58. Facebook, “Sky Land Park,” August 25, https://www.facebook.com/skyland.p/photos/pb.1581401882138533.-2207520000.1441094547./1645352909076763/?type=3&theater

59. PECDAR, “The Presidential Office in Ramallah,” http://www.pecdar.ps/etemplate.php?id=832

60. The Times of Israel, “Abbas Announces Broad Probe into Palestinian NGOs,” December 8, 2014, http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-announces-broad-probe-into-palestinian-ngos/

61.Around the World in 80 Clicks, “Arafat Mausoleum,” May 2008, http://www.traveladventures.org/continents/asia/arafat-mausoleum.html

62. Tom Gross, “Building Peace without Obama’s Interference,” Wall Street Journal Europe, December 2, 2009, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704107104574571491401847518

63. Arizona Jewish Post, “From his West Bank Italian Villa Palestinian Billionare Munib al-Masri Calls for Peace,” November 13, 2012, http://azjewishpost.com/2012/from-his-west-bank-italian-villa-palestinian-billionaire-munib-al-masri-calls-for-peace/.

64. An-Najah National University Hospital, “Services,” http://hospital.najah.edu/en/services/

65. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” January 26, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/a.396695480423410.90547.377223399037285/399474210145537/?type=3&theater

66. Bntpal.com, “جولة في مدينتي نابلس/ دمشق الصغرى”, February 21, 2014, http://www.bntpal.com/vb/t41233/

67. Tom Gross Mideast Media Analysis, “When We Talked About ‘Starvation’ we Meant Plasma TVs and Café Latte,” October 19, 2010, http://www.tomgrossmedia.com/mideastdispatches/archives/001144.html

68. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” November 9, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/a.396695480423410.90547.377223399037285/536666319759658/?type=3&theater

69. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” April 14, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/a.396695480423410.90547.377223399037285/436887549737536/?type=3&theater

70. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” January 21, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/pb.377223399037285.-2207520000.1438852010./396698443756447/?type=3&theater

71. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” January 21, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/a.396695480423410.90547.377223399037285/396698433756448/?type=3&theater

72. Great Mirror, “Notes on the Geography of the West Bank: Bethlehem 2: the New City: Photo 5,” http://www.greatmirror.com/index.cfm?countryid=450&chapterid=454&picid=5&picturesize=masters

73. Great Mirror, “Notes on the Geography of the West Bank: Bethlehem 2: the New City: Photo 4,” http://www.greatmirror.com/index.cfm?countryid=450&chapterid=454&picid=4&picturesize=big

74.Great Mirror, “Notes on the Geography of the West Bank: Bethlehem 2: the New City: Photo 6,” http://www.greatmirror.com/index.cfm?countryid=450&chapterid=454&picid=6&picturesize=masters

75. Rhonda Spivak, “First Hand Account: A Balcony With a View: Five Star Luxury Overlooks Deheishe Palestinian Refugee Camp: It’s Time for UNRWA Reform,” WinnipegJewishReview.com, June 16, 2011, http://www.winnipegjewishreview.com/article_detail.cfm?id=1277

76. Booking.Com, “فندق قصر جاسر” April 4, 2011, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/jacir-palace-intercontinental-bethlehem.ar.html?aid=357009;label=gog235jc-region-XX-ps-westNbank-unspec-il-com-L%3Aar-O%3Aunk-B%3Aunk-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=b32f5b8d043d26fb66912dccf1861c31;dcid=4;dist=0;sb_price_type=total;srfid=6110f186763e3b277f58d6bce3b8cd00153a6094X12;type=total;ucfs=1&

77. Booking.Com, “فندق قصر جاسر” April 4, 2011, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/jacir-palace-intercontinental-bethlehem.ar.html?aid=357009;label=gog235jc-region-XX-ps-westNbank-unspec-il-com-L%3Aar-O%3Aunk-B%3Aunk-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=b32f5b8d043d26fb66912dccf1861c31;dcid=4;dist=0;sb_price_type=total;srfid=6110f186763e3b277f58d6bce3b8cd00153a6094X12;type=total;ucfs=1&

78. Booking.Com, “Grand Park Hotel Bethlehem,” October 9, 2013, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/grand-park-bethlehem.ar.html?aid=357009;label=gog235jc-region-XX-ps-westNbank-unspec-il-com-L%3Aar-O%3Aunk-B%3Aunk-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=b32f5b8d043d26fb66912dccf1861c31;dcid=1;dist=0;sb_price_type=total;srfid=6110f186763e3b277f58d6bce3b8cd00153a6094X29;type=total;ucfs=1&

79. St. Vincent Guest House-Bethlehem, “Guest House,” http://saintvincentguesthouse.com/en/

80. Palestinian Heritage Foundation, “Events,” http://www.palestineheritage.org/index.htm

81. Tom Gross, “Building Peace without Obama’s Interference,” Wall Street Journal Europe, December 2, 2009, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704107104574571491401847518

82. Hayah.cc, “صور جديدة لمدينة الخليل وندعوكم لزيارتها قريبا”, http://www.hayah.cc/forum/t11961.html

83.http://osaily.com/banks.htm

84.Travelzad, “No Name” March 3, 2010, http://travelzad.net/index.php?action=viewfile&id=151885

85. Osaily Trading Contracting Co, “Hebron City Center/ Hebron,” http://www.osaily.com/centers.htm

86. Hayah.cc, “صور جديدة لمدينة الخليل وندعوكم لزيارتها قريبا”, http://www.hayah.cc/forum/t11961.html

87. Travelzad, “No Name,” March 3, 2010, http://travelzad.net/index.php?action=viewfile&id=151891

88. Moon158, “صورة مدينتي مدينة الخليل في فلسطين”, September 20, 2010, http://moon158.yoo7.com/t8567-topic

89. Panoramio, “Hebron University Entrance,” March 22, 2011, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/49838492

90. John Davison, “Spectre of Settlers’ Return Looms over West Bank Neibourhood,” Your Middle East, January 1, 2014, http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/news/spectre-of-settlers-return-looms-over-west-bank-neighbourhood_20528

91. Judy Lash Balint, Hebron, March 2015

92. Judy Lash Balint, Hebron, March 2015

93. Alqudstalk.com, “صورة بلدية سعير/ محافظة الخليل” September 25, 2009, http://www.alqudstalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3147

94.The Arab American University of Jenin, “Faculty of Administrative and Financial Sciences,” http://www.aauj.edu/?q=node/3

95. Flickr, “Ibrahim Haddad’s Villa,” February 24, 2011, https://www.flickr.com/photos/dlisbona/5515306255

96. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/60218177

97. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/pb.377223399037285.-2207520000.1438850207./410809035678721/?type=3&theater

98. Slideshare, “Villa Iyad Qasem, Tulkarm, Palestine”, December 18, 2011, http://www.slideshare.net/jihadawad/buildings-by-jihad-awad

99.World Architecture Community, “Villa Thabet Omar,” July 19, 2009, http://www.worldarchitecture.org/architecture-projects/enhm/villa-thabet-omar-building-page.html

100. Slideshare, “Villa Iyad Qasem, Tulkarm, Palestine”, December 18, 2011, http://www.slideshare.net/jihadawad/buildings-by-jihad-awad

101. Facebook, “Arabex-Arab Experts For Engineering & Consultations,” https://www.facebook.com/377223399037285/photos/a.396695480423410.90547.377223399037285/413359498757008/?type=3&theater

102.Nabali Fares, “مشروع مكة”, http://nabalifares.ps/index.php/2014-09-28-20-53-27/2014-10-01-19-38-08/item/233-2014-10-01-19-58-35.html

103. Wikimapia, “Nice Butefel Villa,” http://wikimapia.org/3986674/nice-butefel-villa

104. A privately owned house in Turmusayya Wikimapia, “ترمسعيا الصور الاخيرة”, http://turmusayya.wikimapia.org/photos/

105. The National, “For Palestinian Americans, Home Brings Little Freedom,” Hugh Naylor, March 31, 2013, http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/for-palestinian-americans-home-brings-little-freedom

106. Panoramio, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/90913790

107. Mohammad Abu Obeid, “صباحكن/ صباحكم هدوء قرية ترمسعيّا قضاء رام الله إحدى أجمل قرى فلسطين #فلسطين_التراث”, Twitter, https://twitter.com/mobeid/status/585687304402034688

108. One of Turmus Ayya’s sprawling villas. The National, “For Palestinian Americans, Home Brings Little Freedom,” Hugh Naylor, March 31, 2013, http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/for-palestinian-americans-home-brings-little-freedom#full

109. Wikimapia Cityguide, “Turmus Ayya,” http://turmusayya.wikimapia.org/en

110. Wikimapia, “مدرسة ذكور ترمسعيا والارض التابعة لها”, http://wikimapia.org/4826131/%D9%85%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A9-%D8%B0%D9%83%D9%88%D8%B1-%D8%AA%D8%B1%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A7-%D9%88%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B6-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%A9-%D9%84%D9%87%D8%A7

111. Wikimapia, “Nice Butefel Villa,” http://wikimapia.org/3986674/nice-butefel-villa

112. Israel Advocacy Movement, “Do Palestinians Have the Lowest Standard of Living in the World?” http://www.israeladvocacy.net/knowledge/exposing-lies-of-israeli-discrimination/do-palestinians-have-the-lowest-standard-of-living-in-the-world/

113. About 20 minutes from the Palestinian economic hub of Ramallah, the new city of Rawabi is sprouting.- Judith Sudilovsky, “On the Hills of the West Bank, Building the Good Life for Palestinians,” Franciscan Monastary of the Holy Land in America, http://www.myfranciscan.org/on-the-hills-of-the-west-bank-building-the-good-life-for-palestinians/

114. Hossam Ezzedine, “Palatial Homes Cost Palestinians Dearly,” The Daily Star, November 9, 2012, http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Culture/Lifestyle/2012/Nov-09/194428-palatial-homes-cost-palestinians-dearly.ashx

115. Panoramio, “Home Sweat Home,” February 26, 2010, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/32609287

116. Martin Patience, “West Bank’s Own Slice of America,” BBC News, July 30, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6913724.stm

117. BBC Arabic, “بناء المنازل الفخمة في “ميامي الضفة الغربية”, November 16, 2012, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/multimedia/2012/11/121116_westbank_houses.shtml

118. A luxury mansion under construction in the village of Mazraa ash-Sharqiya near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Palestinians who have spent years working overseas are returning home to villages like Mazraa ash-Sharqiya and rewarding themselves with their ideal luxury home.- Hossam Ezzedine, “Luxurious Homes Pop Up in the West Bank,” Your Middle East, November 11, 2012, http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/features/luxurious-homes-pop-up-in-the-west-bank_10855

119. Hossam Ezzedine, “Luxurious Homes Pop Up in the West Bank,” Your Middle East, November 11, 2012, http://www.yourmiddleeast.com/features/luxurious-homes-pop-up-in-the-west-bank_10855

120. Al-Ayam, “الليلة..حفل افتتح المجمع الرياضي لنادي المزرعة الشرقية” August 1, 2015, http://www.al-ayyam.ps/ar_page.php?id=fa0a3d9y262185945Yfa0a3d9

121.Dunia Beam, “Jami’at Birzeit,” http://www.duniabeam.eu/?page_id=778

122. Booking.com, “منتجع باب الشمس” November 3, 2013, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/bab-al-shams-resort.ar.html?aid=357009;label=gog235jc-region-XX-ps-westNbank-unspec-il-com-L%3Aar-O%3Aunk-B%3Aunk-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=b32f5b8d043d26fb66912dccf1861c31;dcid=1;dist=0;sb_price_type=total;srfid=6110f186763e3b277f58d6bce3b8cd00153a6094X41;type=total;ucfs=1&#map_closed

123. Booking.com, “منتجع قرية اريحا السياحية”, July 25, 2013, http://www.booking.com/hotel/ps/jericho-resort-village.ar.html?aid=357009;label=gog235jc-region-XX-ps-westNbank-unspec-il-com-L%3Aar-O%3Aunk-B%3Aunk-N%3Ayes-S%3Abo-U%3Asalo;sid=b32f5b8d043d26fb66912dccf1861c31;dcid=1;dist=0;sb_price_type=total;srfid=6110f186763e3b277f58d6bce3b8cd00153a6094X33;type=total;ucfs=1&

124. http://www.abrrar.net/vb/images/imgcache/2013/02/2185.jpg

125. Welcome to the house of Palestinian businessman Mohamed Abdel-Hadi, located on a hillside near Hebron in the town of Kharas. Photos are from the Alrawwya blog.The home is located on over 30 dunams of land. According to the blog Mohamed Abdel-Hadi made his fortune in the construction industry, and helped oversee the design and the construction. Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers, “Palestine’s Winchester Mystery House,” February 15, 2014, http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/palestines-winchester-mystery-house.html

126. http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/palestines-winchester-mystery-house.html

127. http://proisraelbaybloggers.blogspot.co.il/2014/02/palestines-winchester-mystery-house.html.