International investors pledged $1.4 billion for new business ventures in the Palestinian Authority.
The Palestinian Authority, wrapping up its first foreign investment conference Friday, announced that $1.4 billion had been pledged for real-estate, technology and manufacturing projects – less than the announced goal of $2 billion.
Most of the new ventures will be located in the West Bank, the de facto mandate of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas after he lost control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists last June.
Investors gathered at the West Bank city of Bethlehem called for Israel to remove roadblocks and other security measures that restrict Palestinian movement.
Israel says it wants to help Abbas build up the Palestinian economy but that preventing terrorist infiltrations must take priority.