The Constraints of the “Split” and the Promising Potential in Partneringwith Civil Society and the Productive Sector 

Omar Shaban


This report reviews the interventions of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the developmental arm of the Japanese government, in the Gaza Strip. It presents and evaluates Japanese activities and their developmental implications for the Gaza Strip and how JICA has continued to work in the face of the Palestinian “split” since June 2007. The paper relied on a review of literature, paper and electronic publications of JICA, on field visits to some of the projects it funds, and on face-to-face and online interviews with the JICA’s staff, representatives of partner institutions and experts in the relevant areas. The paper does not provide a comprehensive assessment of Japan's role in the Gaza Strip, but rather provides a general and concise presentation of some of these interventions, ending with recommendations that can guide future interventions. 

The Premise of JICA’s Assistance 

JICA began its work in the Palestinian territories shortly before the founding of the Palestinian Authority and was working exclusively through UNRWA. In 1998, it opened its office in the Palestinian territories in Gaza City following the establishment of the Palestinian Authority (PA), in line with its political position in favor of the peace agreement and in support for a two-state solution. Japan's cooperation with Palestine is based on supporting the peace process, the two-state solution and helping the Palestinians build modern state institutions. Japan, through JIAC and Japan's representatives to the PA in Ramallah, is working to achieve these goals through a variety of interventions:....Full Report