Palestinians built 34 schools, 11 clinics, 37,000 trees.
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
A report released on Sunday by the Palestinian Authority government listed a number of “achievements” toward building institutions and infrastructure in the West Bank over the past 16 months.However, the report accused Israel of hindering the PA’s efforts to build institutions and establish a Palestinian state.Palestinians increasingly back one stateOpinion: Demonizing Israel is bad for the PalestiniansThe publication of the report is seen by many Palestinians as a PA attempt to prepare local public opinion for a decision to enter direct talks with Israel.The PA leadership is expected to announce its agreement to enter direct talks in the next day or two.According to the report, the government of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad built 34 new schools and expanded another 23. Eleven new clinics were opened, while another 30 were expanded, the report said.It also discussed the establishment of 44 housing projects in various parts of the West Bank, as well as the construction of 16 new roads.AdvertisementIn addition, the PA government took credit for renovating another 40 roads and planting 370,000 trees.The report said the achievements had been made despite “Israeli occupation restrictions and obstacles.”“While we were building new houses, the Israeli authorities stepped up the process of house demolitions, including in occupied east Jerusalem,” the report claimed.The Fayyad government also accused Israel of erecting 500 “impediments” at a time when the PA was paving 157 km. of new roads in the West Bank.The report accused Israeli authorities of failing to take action against settler violence in the West Bank, as well, saying that while Israel was turning a blind eye to settler violence, the PA had made remarkable progress in imposing law and order.For example, it said, PA police had carried out 88,000 court orders since May 2009.The report pointed out that a number of police stations had also been established in the West Bank.Fayyad said that the report showed how serious he was in his efforts to build a state and achieve freedom for the Palestinians.“We have achieved much, and we will continue to do so despite the occupation,” he said. “We are building our country for the sake of our children.”