Addressing participants of the “Peace to Prosperity” conference in Bahrain on Wednesday, International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde praised the $50 billion U.S.-brokered economic plan for the Palestinian Authority and neighboring Arab countries, and said creating jobs should be the focus of a plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“One of the really good aspects of the plan … is that it identifies some of the sectors, some of the industrial and economic sectors, that will be conducive to jobs,” said Lagarde. “It cannot be any kind of growth in the West Bank and Gaza; it needs to be job-intensive.”

Unemployment figures for Judea, Samaria and Gaza are high, with figures in Judea and Samaria varying from 17.6 percent to 30 percent. In the Gaza Strip, the figure is approximately 50 percent.

Since 1995, the IMF has provided loans, credit guarantees and policy advice to the Palestinian Authority in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The newly publicized U.S. plan aims to create a million new jobs in the region over the next 10 years.

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