Indeed, the stated goal of this U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project is to award program contracts solely to West Bank and Gaza-area vendors, according to presolicitation notice released today.
The Local Construction Program, or LCP, as it is known, will seek out non-governmental entities to carry out a variety of initiatives involving "local construction or rehabilitation of roads, buildings, water, wastewater, public buildings including health facilities, schools, and other infrastructure."
USAID said it expects to release a formal Request for Proposals around September 3, and will not accept bids until that time. The agency revealed few other details.
As U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor reported earlier this year, USAID began awarding contracts in a separate Palestinian project worth upwards of three-quarters of a billion dollars (see: USAID Contracts Start Flowing in $750 Million Palestinian Infrastructure Project; Monitor, Jan. 14, 2012).
Helping to create a modern Palestinian state is a top priority for the Obama White House, which explicitly has made clear its intentions to accomplish that task -- even if it means taking away business from Israel.
Indeed, as the Monitor has been reporting since last year, the Obama Administration went so far as to launch a project whose aim is to draw tourists away from Israel and re-direct them to Palestinian lands (see: $58 Million USAID Contract to Help Steer Tourists Out of Israel and into West Bank, Gaza; Monitor, Jan. 7).
Similarly, Obama via USAID wants to ensure that the Palestinians -- and the world -- appreciates U.S. involvement in that region (see: Obama Launching Appeal to Palestinians -- Media Blitz to Promote U.S. Role in 'Building' Future State).
Source document: Solicitation #RFP-294-12-000008.