Why Can’t Palestine Bridge the Digital Divide? The Role of the Israeli Occupation, Palestinian Governance, and Foreign Aid Policies

Vogel, Justin [Browse]
Senior thesis


Jamal, Amaney A. [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Near Eastern Studies [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
Palestine has a highly literate and well-educated population plus massive foreign aid to support its economy and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector; yet the sector has underperformed expectations for years. The neoliberal paradigm suggests that the failure of the ICT sector has resulted largely from failed Palestinian Authority (PA) policies and governance. As a result of this diagnosis, much of the international effort to support the Palestinian West Bank economy has been designed to promote PA institution-building rather than to address the structural inequalities that define Palestine’s relationship with Israel. In contrast, this thesis contends that Israel’s asymmetrical control over West Bank airspace and land use, in addition to other Israeli restrictions on Palestinian business activity, constitutes the most fundamental constraint on Palestinian ICT growth. While it stresses that the Israeli Occupation is the primary impediment to ICT development, it also explores the role of Palestinian institutions and foreign aid strategies in limiting the potential of this critical sector.

Supplementary Information