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Peacebuilding as counterinsurgency in the occupied Palestinian territory

  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

It is often suggested that Western peacebuilding in the occupied Palestinian territory has failed because it has not delivered a viable Palestinian state. But if peacebuilding is reinterpreted as a form of counterinsurgency whose goal is to secure a population, then it has not failed – in fact, on the contrary, it has been quite successful. This article therefore critically evaluates the idea and practice of peacebuilding as counterinsurgency by exploring the symbiosis in the philosophy and methods of COIN and peacebuilding, and charts its implementation in the oPt through the realms of governance, development, and security. It argues that peacebuilding in this context operates as another layer of pacification techniques whose goal is to secure the Palestinian population and ensure acquiescence in the face of violent dispossession.

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1 Le More, Anne, International Assistance to the Palestinians After Oslo: Political Guilt, Wasted Money (Oxon: Routledge, 2008); Khan, Mushtaq H., Giacaman, George, and Amundsen, Inge (eds), State Formation in Palestine: Viability and Governance During a Social Transformation (Abingdon: Routledge Curzon, 2004); Roy, Sara, Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict (London: Pluto Press, 2007); Taghdisi-Rad, Sahar, The Political Economy of Aid in Palestine: Relief from Development or Development Delayed? (London: Routledge, 2011).

2 Roy, Failing Peace.

3 For example, Turner, Mandy, ‘The Power of “Shock and Awe”: The Palestinian Authority and the Road to Reform’, International Peacekeeping, 16:4 (2009), pp. 562–77; Turner, Mandy, ‘Creating “Partners for Peace”: the Palestinian Authority and the International Statebuilding Agenda’, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 4:1 (2011), pp. 121; Turner, Mandy, ‘Statebuilding in Palestine: Caught Between Occupation, Realpolitik and the Liberal Peace’, in Chandler, David and Sisk, Timothy D. (eds), Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013)

4 Mackinlay, John and Al-Baddawy, Alison, Rethinking Counterinsurgency (Santa Monica: RAND, 2008); Khalili, Laleh, ‘The Location of Palestine in Global Counterinsurgency’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 42 (2010), pp. 413–33.

5 Mackinlay and Baddaway, Rethinking, pp. 13–20. This study, however, is astonishing in its misrepresentation of Palestinian history, something that one would have assumed the authors would have taken care to check on, given the centrality they give the Palestinian struggle in their report.

6 Qumsiyeh, Mazim B., Popular Resistance in Palestine: a History of Hope and Empowerment (London: Pluto Press, 2011), pp. 134–62.

7 Mackinlay and Baddaway, Rethinking, pp. 13–20.

8 Pugh, Michael, Cooper, Neil, and Turner, Mandy, ‘Conclusion: The Political Economy of Peacebuilding – Whose Peace, Where Next?’, in Pugh, Michael, Cooper, Neil, and Turner, Mandy (eds), Whose Peace: Critical Perspectives on the Political Economy of Peacebuilding (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008).

9 Collins, John, Global Palestine (London: C. Hurst & Co., 2011), p. 1.

10 Collins, Global Palestine.

11 Khalili, Laleh, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012), p. 58.

12 Journal of Palestine Studies, ‘Israel's Military Operations Against Gaza, 2000–2008’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 38:3 (2009), pp. 122–38; Human Rights Watch, ‘White Flag Deaths: Killing of Palestinian Civilians During Operation Cast Lead’ (New York: HRW, 13 August 2009); Journal of Palestine Studies, ‘Damage to Palestinian People and Property During Operation Cast Lead’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 38:3 (2009), pp. 210–12.

13 B'Tselem, ‘Take No Prisoners: the Fatal Shooting of Palestinians by Israeli Security Forces During Arrest Operations’ (May 2005); Amnesty International, ‘Starved of Justice: Palestinians Detailed without Trial by Israel’ (London: Amnesty, 2012); B'Tselem and Hamoked, ‘Absolute Prohibition: the Torture and Ill-treatment of Palestinian Detainees’ (May 2007).

14 Luft, Gal, ‘The Logic of Israel's Targeted Killing’, Middle East Quarterly (Winter 2003), pp. 313; Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, ‘Extra-Judicial Executions as Israeli Government Policy: Extra-Judicial Executions Committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces August 2006–June 2008’ (Gaza: PCHR, 2008); B'Tselem, ‘Act of Vengeance: Israeli's bombing of the Gaza power plant and its effects’ (September 2006).

15 Peled, Yoav, ‘The Evolution of Israeli Citizenship: An Overview’, Citizenship Studies, 12:3 (2008), pp. 335–45; Human Rights Watch, ‘Separate and Unequal: Israel's Discriminatory Treatment of the Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ (New York: HRW, December 2010); Human Rights Watch, ‘Forget About Him, He's Not Here: Israel's Control of Palestinian Residency in the West Bank and Gaza’ (New York: HRW, February, 2012).

16 B'Tselem, ‘Under the Guise of Security: Routing the Separation Barrier to Enable the Expansion of Israeli Settlements in the West Bank’ (B'Tselem, December 2005); International Court of Justice, ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Advisory Opinion’ (9 July 2004), available at: {} accessed 15 April 2010; Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), ‘The Humanitarian Impact on Palestinians of Israeli Settlements and other Infrastructure in the West Bank (UNOCHA, July 2007); B'Tselem, ‘One Big Prison: Freedom of Movement to and from the Gaza Strip on the Eve of the Disengagement’ (B'Tselem, Jerusalem, 2005), p. 5.

17 Cohen, Hillel and Dudai, Ron, ‘Human Rights Dilemmas in using Informants to Combat Terrorism: the Israel-Palestine Case’, Terrorism and Political Violence, 17:1, pp. 229–43; Gordon, Neve, Israel's Occupation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).

18 Kilcullen, David, ‘Counterinsurgency Redux’, Survival, 48:4 (Winter 2006–7), pp. 111–30, 121.

19 US Department of Defense, ‘Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense’ (January 2012); UK Government, ‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: the Strategic Defence and Security Review’ (October 2010).

20 David Kilcullen, ‘Three Pillars of Counterinsurgency’, Remarks delivered at the US Government Counterinsurgency Conference, Washington DC (28 September 2006), available at: {} accessed 1 March 2013, p. 6.

21 Khalili, Time in the Shadows.

22 Kilcullen, ‘Three Pillars’, p. 3.

23 United States Government Interagency Counterinsurgency Initiative, ‘US Government Counterinsurgency Guide’ (January 2009), p. 12.

24 Boutros Boutros-Ghalis, ‘An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peacekeeping’, UN doc., A/47/277 – S/24111 (17 June 1992), available at: {} accessed 1 March 2013; UN Secretary-General High Level Panel on ‘Threats, Challenges and Change’, ‘A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility’ (2 December 2004), available at: {} accessed I March 2013; Kofi Annan, ‘In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights for All’ (21 March 2005), available at: {} accessed 1 March 2013.

25 Pugh, Michael, ‘Reflections on Aggressive Peace’, International Peacekeeping, 19:4 (2012), pp. 410–25.

26 US Government, ‘Counterinsurgency Guide’, p. 12.

27 Kilcullen, ‘Three Pillars’, pp. 4–5.

28 Pugh, ‘Reflections’, p. 413.

29 Charbonneau, Bruno, ‘The Imperial Legacy of International Peacebuilding: the case of Francophone Africa’, Review of International Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

30 Escobar, Arturo, Encountering Development: the Making and Unmaking of the Third World (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), p. 27.

31 Grob-Fitzgibbon, Benjamin, Imperial Endgame: Britain's Dirty Wars and the End of Empire (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

32 Hinnebusch, Raymond, ‘Europe and the Middle East: From Imperialism to Liberal Peace?’, Review of European Studies, 4:3 (July 2012), pp. 1831.

33 Mark Moyar, ‘Development in Afghanistan's Counterinsurgency: A New Guide’, Orbis Operations (March 2011), p. 12; Kilcullen, ‘Three Pillars’.

34 Jaroslav Petrik, ‘Development in Counterinsurgency: Marrying Theory to Practice’, Paper presented at the International Studies Association annual convention, New Orleans (17–20 February 2010).

35 Blakeley, Ruth, ‘Still Training to Torture? US Training of Latin American Military Forces’. Third World Quarterly, 27:8 (2006), pp. 1439–61; Schmitz, David F., The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, 1965–1989 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

36 United States Government Interagency Counterinsurgency Initiative, ‘US Government Counterinsurgency Guide’.

37 DFID, FCO, MOD, ‘The Global Conflict Prevention Pool: A Joint UK Government Approach to Reducing Conflict’ (2001).

38 Jon Elmer and Anthony Fenton, ‘Canada: Development Aid as Counterinsurgency Tool’, Inter Press Service, (23 March 2007) available at: {} accessed 5 March 2013.

39 CBS News, ‘Federal Budget Folds CIDA into Foreign Affairs’ (21 March 2013), available at: {} accessed 4 April 2013.

40 For some expressions of how this has manifested see Agnes Hurwitz and Gordon Peake, ‘Strengthening the Security-Development Nexus: Assessing International Policy and Practice since the 1990s’, Conference Report April 2004 (New York: International Peace Academy, 2004); Necla Tschirgi, ‘Peacebuilding as the Link between Security and Development: is the window of opportunity closing?’ (New York: International Peace Academy, December 2003).

41 There are too many policy documents proposing the human security perspective to list them all here. However, the United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security lists many of the UN documents that have outlined and expanded on the term and its potential uses in policy and practice. Available at: {} accessed 1 March 2013.

42 Solomon Major, ‘Sharpening Our Plowshares: Applying the Lessons of Counterinsurgency to Development and Humanitarian Aid’, American Political Science Association 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, available at: {SSRN:} accessed 5 March 2013; Kienscherf, Markus, ‘A Programme of Global Pacification: US Counterinsurgency Doctrine and the Biopolitics of Human (In)Security’, Security Dialogue, 42:6 (2011), pp. 517–35.

43 Kaldor, Mary, Human Security: Reflections on Globalisation and Intervention (Cambridge: Polity, 2007); Glasius, Marlies and Kaldor, Mary, A Human Security Doctrine for Europe: Projects, Principles, Practicalities (London: Routledge, 2008); Yale Journal of International Affairs, ‘Putting People First: the Growing Influence of “Human Security”, an interview with Mary Kaldor’, Yale Journal of International Affairs, 5:2 (Summer 2010), pp. 1722.

44 Kaldor, Mary and Beebe, Shannon D., The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace (New York: Public Affairs, 2010), p. 68.

45 World Bank, Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Role of the World Bank (Washington DC, The World Bank,1998); Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD–DAC), The DAC Guidelines: Helping Prevent Violent Conflict (Paris: OECD, 2001); Department for International Development, Why We Need to Work More Effectively in Fragile States (London: DFID, 2005).

46 Turner, Mandy, Cooper, Neil, and Pugh, Michael, ‘Institutionalised and coopted: why human security has lost its way’, Chandler, David and Hynek, Niklas (eds), Critical Perspectives on Human Security: Discourses of Emancipation and Regimes of Power (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010), pp. 8396, 86.

47 Paris, Roland, ‘Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air?’, International Security, 26:2 (2001), pp. 87102.

48 Vankovska, Biljana, ‘The Human Security Doctrine for Europe: A View from Below’, International Peacekeeping, 14:2 (2007), pp. 264–81.

49 Paris, Roland and Sisk, Timothy D., ‘Introduction: understanding the contradictions of postwar statebuilding’, in Paris, Roland and Sisk, Timothy D. (eds), The Dilemma of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations (London: Routledge, 2009), pp. 120.

50 UN, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change (New York: UN, December, 2004); UN, Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations (the ‘Brahimi Report’) (New York: UN, August 2000).

51 World Bank, ‘World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development’ (Washington DC: World Bank, April 2011).

52 Duffield, Mark, Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of Peoples (Cambridge: Policy, 2007).

53 I am thankful to Roger Mac Ginty for this point.

54 Khalili, ‘The Location of Palestine’.

55 Although, of course, there had been fundamental changes in the character of the citizenship-granting state from British Mandate Palestine to the State of Israel in 1948.

56 Abu Hussein, Hussein and McKay, Fiona, Access Denied: Palestinian Land Rights in Israel (London: Zed, 2003).

57 Khalili, Time in the Shadows, p. 60.

58 Peri, Yoram, Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy (Washington DC: United States Institute for Peace, 2006), pp. 1732.

59 International Crisis Group, ‘Back to Basics: Israel's Arab Minority and the Israel-Palestine Conflict’, Middle East Report No. 119 (Jerusalem: ICG, 14 March 2012), p. 37, fn. 306. Although, of course, the Druze, have been subject to compulsory military service since 1956, in contrast to Christian and Muslim Arabs.

60 Peri, Generals in the Cabinet Room.

61 ‘The Israel Defense Forces: Taking wing’, The Economist (10 August 2013), available at: {|b} accessed 1 December 2013.

62 SIPRI, Yearbook 2013: Armaments, Disarmament and International Security (Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2013).

63 Israeli military forces also disengaged from the Gaza Strip after Israeli settlers were removed in 2005.

64 International Crisis Group, ‘Squaring the Circle: Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation’, Middle East Report No. 98 (7 September 2010), p. 17.

65 Papers and keynotes speeches can be downloaded from its website: {}.

66 Kimmerling, Baruch, ‘Religion, Nationalism and Democracy in Israel’, Constellations, 6:3 (1999), p. 340.

67 Associated Press, ‘Israeli court rejects Israeli nationality, arguing it could undermine Jewish character’ (4 October 2013), available at: {} accessed 1 November 2013.

68 Khan, Mushtaq H., ‘Learning the Lessons of Olso: Statebuilding and Freedoms in Palestine’, in Turner, Mandy and Shweiki, Omar (eds), Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy: De-development and Beyond (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014, forthcoming).

69 Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff, News Agencies, and Akiva Eldar, ‘Netanyahu demands Palestinians recognize “Jewish” state’, Haaretz (16 April 2009), available at: {} accessed 1 April 2013.

70 Masalha, Nur, The Bible and Zionism: Invented Traditions, Archaeology and Post-colonialism in Palestine-Israel (London: Zed, 2007).

71 Donald Macintyre, ‘More than 350,000 Israeli settlers in West Bank for the first time’, The Independent, London (27 July 2012), available at: {} accessed 1 March 2013.

72 Gordon, Neve and Cohen, Yinon, ‘Western Interests, Israeli Unilateralism, and the Two-state Solution’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 41:3 (2012), pp. 618, 1112.

73 UNOCHA, ‘East Jerusalem: Key Humanitarian Concerns’ (UNOCHA: East Jerusalem, 2011); Human Rights Watch, ‘Separate and Unequal’.

74 International Crisis Group, ‘Extreme Makeover? (II): the Withering of Arab Jerusalem’, Middle East Report No. 135 (20 December 2013), p. 21.

75 Clemens Messershmidt, ‘Hydro-apartheid and Water Access in Israel-Palestine: Challenging the Myths of Cooperation and Scarcity’, Mandy Turner and Omar Shweiki (eds), De-Colonizing Palestinian Political Economy.

76 Barakat Ravid, ‘Israel to tell EU: We won't sign agreements based on settlement guidelines’ (8 August 2013), available at: {} accessed 1 November 2013.

77 Raja Khalidi and Sahar Taghdisi-Rad, ‘The economic dimensions of prolonged occupation: continuity and change in Israeli policy towards the Palestinian economy’ (New York/Geneva: UNCTAD, August 2009).

78 Roy, Failing Peace, p. 33.

79 Qumsiyeh, Popular Resistance, p. 157.

80 Quoted in Khalidi and Taghdisi-Rad, ‘The economic dimensions of prolonged occupation’, p. 7.

81 Gordon, Israel's Occupation, pp. 154–64.

82 Hilal, Jamil, ‘The Polarisation of the Palestinian Political Field’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 36:3 (2010), pp. 2439.

83 Barghouti, Marwan, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights (Chicago: Haymarket, 2011).

84 Honig, Or, ‘The End of Israeli Military Restraint: out with the New, in with the Old’, Middle East Quarterly (2007), pp. 6374.

85 Human Rights in Palestine and Other Occupied Arab Territories, ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/12/48, Sept. 15 (‘The Goldstone Report’, 2009), para. 86.

86 Middle East Monitor, ‘Israel issues 700 life sentences against Palestinians in 13 years’ (30 September 2013), available at: {} accessed 1 November 2013.

87 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, ‘Extra-Judicial Executions as Israeli Government Policy: Extra-Judicial Executions Committed by the Israeli Occupation Forces August 2006–June 2008’ (Gaza: PCHR, 2008), p. 7; available at: {} accessed 2 May 2010.

88 B'Tselem, ‘One Big Prison’, p. 5.

89 International Crisis Group, ‘Gaza's Unfinished Business’, Middle East Report, No. 85 (Brussels: ICG, 23 April 2009).

90 Toni O'Loughlin, ‘Gaza near to collapse as Israel tightens grip, says Bank’, The Guardian (22 December 2008), available at: {} accessed 21 April 2010.

91 Reuters, ‘Wikileaks: Israel aimed to keep Gaza economy on brink of collapse’ (5 January 2011), Haaretz, available at: {} accessed 5 April 2013.

92 Nicolas Pelham, ‘The Role of the Tunnel Economy in Developing Gaza’, in Turner and Shweiki (eds), Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy.

93 International Crisis Group, ‘Gaza's Unfinished Business’, p. 1.

94 Journal of Palestine Studies, ‘Damage to People and Property’.

95 UN Conference on Trade and Development, ‘The Palestinian War-Torn Economy: Aid, Development and State Formation’ (Geneva: UNCTAD, 2006), p. 8.

96 Khalili, Time in the Shadows, p. 58.

97 Lagerquist, Peter, ‘Privatizing the Occupation: the Political Economy of an Oslo Development Plan’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 32:2 (2003), pp. 520.

98 Gordon, Israel's Occupation, pp. 96–115.

99 Said, Edward, From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap (London: Bloomsbury, 2004); Gordon, Israel's Occupation.

100 Strawson, John, Partitioning Palestine: Legal Fundamentalism in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict (London: Pluto, 2010), p. 6.

101 Turner, Mandy, ‘Completing the Circle: Peacebuilding as Colonial Practice in the occupied Palestinian territory’, International Peacekeeping, 19:5 (2012), pp. 492507.

102 Cooper, Neil, ‘Picking Out the Pieces of the Liberal Peaces: Representations of Conflict Economies and the Implications for Policy’, Security Dialogue, 36:4 (2005), pp. 463–78.

103 For instance, Mac Ginty, Roger and Sangera, Gurchathen, ‘Hybridity in Peacebuilding and Development’, Special Issue of Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 7:2 (2012); Egnell, Robert and Halden, Peter (eds), New Agendas in Statebuilding: Hybridity, Contingency and History (Abingdon: Routledge, 2013); Richmond, Oliver P. and Mitchell, Audra (eds) Hybrid Forms of Peace: From Everyday Agency to Post-Liberalism (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).

104 Gregory, Derek, The Colonial Present: Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004).

105 Turner, Mandy, ‘Creating “Partners for Peace”: the Palestinian Authority and the International Statebuilding Agenda’, Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 4:1 (2011), pp. 121.

106 Parsons, Nigel, The Politics of the Palestinian Authority: From Oslo to al-Aqsa (Abingdon: Routledge, 2005), p. 10.

107 Nakhleh, Khalil, Globalised Palestine: the National Sell-out of a Homeland (New Jersey: Red Sea Press, 2012), pp. 37129.

108 Lagerquist, ‘Privatising the occupation’, p. 12.

109 US Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, 1993, quoted in Brynen, Rex, A Very Political Economy: Peacebuilding and Foreign Aid in the West Bank and Gaza (Washington DC: USIP, 2000), p. 73.

110 OECD aid database. These figures are for disbursements not pledges from OECD donors and multilateral agencies. Arab donors are not assessed here for two reasons: (i) it is difficult to get accurate statistics on Arab aid to the oPt and PA; and (ii) Arab donors have different rationales for giving aid to those of the Western donors, as indicated by preliminary interviews.

111 Caplan, Richard, International Governance of War-torn Territories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005); Harrison, Graham, The World Bank and Africa: the Construction of Governance States (Routledge: London, 2004).

112 Le More, International Assistance; Roy, Failing Peace.

113 Rex Brynen quoted in Le More, International Assistance, p. 37.

114 Le More, Anne, ‘Killing with Kindness: Funding the Demise of a Palestinian State’, International Affairs, 81:5 (2005), pp. 981–99, 995.

115 Gallagher, Tom, Romania and the European Union: How the Weak Vanquished the Strong (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2009).

116 Inge Amundsen and Ezbidi Basem, ‘PNA Political Institutions and the Future of State Formation’, in Khan, Giacaman, and Amundsen (eds), State Formation.

117 Tuastad, Dag, ‘The Role of International Clientelism in the National Factionalisation of Palestine’, Third World Quarterly, 31:5 (2010), pp. 791802, 792–5.

118 Nathan J. Brown, ‘Evaluating Palestinian Reform’, Carnegie Papers, No. 59 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005), p. 11.

119 UNCTAD, ‘Report on UNCTAD Assistance to the Palestinian People: developments in the economy of the occupied territories’ (Geneva: UNCTAD, 8 July 2013), p. 7.

120 Palestinian National Authority, ‘A State under Occupation: the Government of Palestine's Report to the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee Meeting’, Brussels (19 March 2013), p. 22.

121 World Bank, ‘West Bank and Gaza Update’ (Washington, DC: World Bank, April 2006), p. 20.

122 Mushtaq H. Khan, ‘Introduction: State formation in Palestine’, in Khan, Giacaman, and Amundsen (eds), State Formation, p. 5.

123 Jamil Hilal and Mushtaq H. Khan, ‘State Formation under the PNA: Potential outcomes and their viability’, in Khan, Giacaman, and Amundsen (eds), State Formation, pp. 77–8; Le More, International Assistance, p. 74.

124 Sari Hanafi and Linda Tabar, ‘Donor Assistance, Rent-seeking and Elite Formation’, in Khan, Giacaman, and Amundsen (eds), State Formation, p. 219.

125 Hanieh, Adam, Lineages of Revolt: Issues of Contemporary Capitalism in the Middle East (Chicago: Haymarket, 2013), pp. 99122; also see: EU, ‘The Barcelona Declaration’ (1995), available at: {} accessed 1 September 2013; World Bank, ‘Developing the Occupied Territories: An Investment in Peace’ (Washington DC, 1993); Ed Balls and Jon Cunliffe, ‘Economic Aspects of peace in the Middle East’ (London: HM Govt, September 2007).

126 Sobhi Samour and Raja Khalidi, ‘Neoliberalism and the contradictions of the Palestinian Authority's statebuilding programme’, in Turner and Shweiki (eds), Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy.

127 Aruri, Naseer, ‘The Wye Memorandum: Netanyahu's Oslo and Unreciprocal Reciprocity’, Journal of Palestine Studies, 28:2 (1999), p. 136; Mahle, Melissa Boyle, ‘A Political-Security Analysis of the Failed Oslo Process’, Middle East Policy, 12:1 (2005), pp. 7996, 81.

128 Hilal and Khan, ‘State formation under the PNA’, p. 94; Palestinian National Authority, ‘The Palestinian Reform and Development Plan, 2008–2010’; PNA: Ramallah; Palestinian National Authority, ‘Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State: Programme of the 13th Government’ (PNA: Ramallah).

129 Sayigh, Yezid, ‘The Palestinian Paradox: Statehood, Security and Institutional Reform’, Conflict, Security and Development, 1:1 (2006), pp. 101–8; Yezid Sayigh, ‘“Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen’ (Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 2009).

130 Aruri, ‘The Wye Memorandum’, p. 136.

131 Friedrich, Roland and Luethold, Arnold (eds), Entry Points to Palestinian Security Sector Reform (Geneva Centre for the democratic Control of Armed Forces: Geneva and Ramallah, 2007).

132 International Crisis Group, ‘The Meaning of Palestinian Reform’, Middle East Briefing (Amman/Washington: ICG, 12 November 2002), p. 6.

133 International Crisis Group, ‘Squaring the Circle: Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation’, Middle East Report No. 98 (Washington/Amman: ICG, 7 September 2010), pp. 4–5.

134 Hilal and Khan, ‘State formation under the PNA’, pp. 94–5.

135 The Portland Trust, ‘Palestinian Economic Bulletin’, Issue 84 (September 2013).

136 ICG, ‘The Meaning of Palestinian Reform’.

137 Brown, ‘Evaluating Palestinian Reform’, pp. 21–2.

138 A ship carrying 50 tonnes of weapons was seized in the Red Sea by Israeli commandos. Israel claimed these were weapons being shipped from Iran and therefore showed Palestinian collusion with Iran. In his memoirs, George W. Bush states that this is when he lost complete faith in Arafat. Bush, George W., Decision Points (Broadway Books, 2010).

139 Halevy, Efraim, Man in the Shadows: Inside the Middle East Crisis with a Man who Led the Mossad (St. Martin's Press: London, 2006), pp. 212–15.

140 International Crisis Group, ‘The Meaning of Palestinian Reform’, p. 13.

141 Friedrich and Luethold, Entry Points, p. 20.

142 Stephen Fidler, and Rula Khalaf, ‘Israeli connections and Swiss accounts: Arafat's secret financial affairs’, Financial Times (8 February 2005), available at: {} accessed 1 May 2013.

143 Haddad, Taufic, ‘Political Economy of Neoliberal Approaches to Conflict Resolution and Statebuilding in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 1993–2013, Bulletin of the Council for British Research in the Levant, 8:1 (2013), pp. 30–4.

144 Hanieh, Adam, ‘The Internationalisation of Gulf Capital and Palestinian Class Formation’, Capital and Class, 35:1 (2011), pp. 81106; Hanieh, Lineages of Revolt, pp. 99–122.

145 Hilal and Khan, ‘State formation under the PNA’, pp. 78–81.

146 International Crisis Group, ‘Palestinians, Israel and the Quartet: Pulling Back from the Brink’, Middle East Report No. 54 (ICG: 13 June 2006).

147 Turner, Mandy, ‘Building Democracy in Palestine: Liberal Peace Theory and the Election of Hamas’, Democratization, 13:5 (2006), pp. 739–55.

148 Tuastad, ‘The Role of International Clientelism’, pp. 798–9; David Rose, ‘The Gaza Bombshell’, Vanity Fair (April 2008), available at: {} accessed 1 April 2013.

149 International Crisis Group, ‘Ruling Palestine I: Gaza under Hamas’, Middle East Report No. 73 (19 March 2008); Pelham, ‘The role of the tunnel economy’.

150 Thomas L. Friedman, ‘Green shoots in Palestine’, The New York Times (5 August 2009), available at: {} accessed 1 May 2013; Nathan J. Brown, ‘Requiem for Fayyadism’, Foreign Policy (17 April 2013).

151 Samour and Khalidi, ‘Neoliberalism and the Contradictions’.

152 Palestinian National Authority, ‘The Palestinian Reform and Development Plan, 2008–2010’.

153 This was also true for Cambodia where the Western donors largely abandoned their liberal democratic agenda of in favour of a ‘good governance’ agenda that focused on promoting investor-friendly economic governance than on democratisation. See Hughes, Caroline, The Political Economy of Cambodia's Transition 1991–2001 (London: Routledge, 2003).

154 Interviews conducted with a variety of organisations working with the agricultural sector and business sector, and local aid coordination committee official, Ramallah (July 2008), September 2009.

155 OECD Database.

156 Nathan J. Brown, ‘Sunset for the two-state solution’, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Washington DC, May 2008).

157 International Crisis Group, ‘Ruling Palestine II: The West Bank Model’ (ICG: July 2008), pp. 4–8.

158 Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, ‘Peace through Security: Keynote Address’, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (7 May 2009), available at: {}.

159 N. Thrall, ‘Our Man in Palestine’, New York Review of Books (14 October 2010), available at: {} accessed 1 September 2013.

160 Quoted in John Reed, ‘The Palestinian economy's hard road out of isolation’, Financial Times (6 November 2013), available at: {} accessed 8 November 2013.

161 Since 2002, USAID has included an Anti-Terror Clause (ATC) in its contract arrangements with implementing partners in the oPt to ensure that no funding goes to individuals or groups on the US terrorist list.

162 Michele Gyeney, ‘Play satirises how aid donors sideline Palestinians’, Electronic Intifada (1 July 2012), available at: {} accessed 1 September 2013.

* The author would like to thank the British Academy, the Council for British Research in the Levant, and the Leverhulme Trust for grants that made this research possible. The author would also like to thank the three anonymous peer reviewers, as well as Michael Pugh, Alaa' Tartir, and Roger Mac Ginty for insightful comments made on an earlier draft, all of which went towards creating a tighter, more coherent argument. But any errors are, of course, the author's own.

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