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PA signs trade deal with China

Prime Minister of Palestine Rami Hamdallah in Ramallah, West Bank on 29 August 2017 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and the government of China signed a "memorandum of understanding" on free trade today, according to official PA-owned Wafa news agency.

Wafa reported that the Palestinian Minister of National Economy, Abeer Odeh, and deputy Chinese Minister of Commerce, Wang Shouwen, signed the memorandum on free trade in the presence of Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and China's Ambassador to Palestine, Chen Xingzhong, at Hamdallah's office in Ramallah.

According to Wafa, Hamdallah "praised China's continuous support for Palestine and pointed out the importance of China's participation" in an industrial zone to be built in the Hebron district of the southern West Bank.

Hamdallah lauded the industrial zone as a project that "will contribute to reinforcing the national economy and to the creation of jobs in Palestine."

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He Prime Minister also briefed the Chinese minister and ambassador on the obstacles facing development in Palestine as a result of the Israeli occupation, particularly in Area C, which is under complete Israeli control and makes up around 64 per cent of the occupied West Bank.

All Palestinian construction is banned in Area C, unless Palestinians get nearly-impossible-to-obtain Israeli-issued building permits.

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