Israel Today newspaper revealed yesterday that Turkey is strengthening its influence in the occupied West Bank, under the guidance of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by pumping investments worth $10 million to build a new industrial zone in Jenin.
The newspaper referred to an interview of the Palestinian Economy Minister, Khaled Al-Osaily, with Anadolu Agency, during which he stated that "there is a plan to build Turkish factories in Jenin's industrial zone."
"There is a plan for Turkish factories to operate in the [industrial] zone," Al-Osaily told Anadolu on Sunday.
According to the newspaper, Turkey is not the only country that invested in the project, as Germany is investing €24 million ($25.4 million) in the initial construction phase of the industrial zone, which focuses on external infrastructure that will be completed in mid-2021. The second phase, which will cover the internal infrastructure, will be funded by Ankara to the tune of $10 million, the report said.
According to the newspaper, this investment comes through the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB). The project has been in the planning stages since 1999 but was stalled as a result of Israeli procedures in relation to the issuance of the necessary licences, it added.
Al-Osaily said he expects the creation of about 5,000 direct job opportunities as a result of the industrial zone and 15,000 indirect jobs in the process.
The planned industrial zone extends over 1,100 dunams (1.1 square kilometres) and is located about three kilometres north of Jenin's city centre.