Valley of Peace initiative
The Valley of Peace initiative is an official joint effort of the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian governments to promote economic cooperation, and new business initiatives which can help both sides work together, and create a better diplomatic atmosphere and better economic conditions. It constitutes a co-existence project, as it is mainly designed to foster efforts in the private sector, once governments provide the initial investment and facilities.
Joint economic cooperation between Israeli officials in Gilboa and Palestinian officials in Jenin has begun to have major results and benefits. In October 2009, a new project got underway promoting tourism and travel between the two areas. Major new business efforts and tourist attractions have been initiated in Jenin. The two regions are planning a joint industrial zone which would bridge the border. Palestinians would produce locally-made handicrafts and sell them through Gilboa to other regions of the world. Another possible project is a joint language center, where Israelis and Palestinians would teach each other Arabic and Hebrew, as well as aspects of their cultural heritage.
In early 2010, President Shimon Peres took an active and personal role in efforts to promote local business initiatives. Peres personally led a tour of top Israeli executives through the West Bank, and told them about many new Palestinian businesses which show much growth potential. One company highlighted by Peres was the New Generation Technology incubator, a joint Jewish-Arab effort founded in 2002 which encourages new ideas and projects in technology and biotechnology. As of 2011, according to Naftali Bennett, there are about 50 factories in the West Bank industrial region where Jews and Palestinians work together.