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Economic peace: The Jericho casino as a case study

Several years ago, I was staying at the then called InterContinental hotel in Jericho. A friend of a friend, invited me to look at a secret venue back-door, so I followed. We entered the hall of the well-preserved but long-closed Oasis casino.
Established in 1998, just outside the entrance of the city of Jericho, on a place accessible both to Israelis and Palestinians, the casino was one major consequence of the Peace Accords, that is Oslo. It was a genuine idea to build a casino there, after all, Israeli bans casinos, West Bank Palestinian cities is now ruled by a new-liberal-minded political elite, bingo! Israelis had their new gambling center, near a Palestinian city. That trip, an hour from Tel Aviv, is much shorter than that to an Egyptian off-shore Casino Boat, near the city of Taba. Needless to say, long lobbying efforts were made to try to legalize casinos in Israel with no success. As the name was the Gaza-Jericho agreement, there was also attempts to establish another casino in the Gaza strip, briefly before the disengagement.
One of the main financiers of the project was Martin Schlaff, a Jewish-Austrian billionaire, with a strong connection with Israel. That pact worked for about two years, until late 2000, when the armed intifada gradually emerged. Until then, the investment had a daily revenue of about two million shekels, or around 700,000$. The vast majority of the customers were Jewish Israelis. with a considerable minority of Arab-Israelis, and a small minority of foreign customers. Palestinians with the identity of the PA were refused entry.
The Palestinian authority had three main sources of income from the Casino. The first is a secretive direct investment in the project, of around 60 million$, usually managed by Muhammad Rashid, Arafat advisor, and the main figure of corruption in the Palestinian Authority of Arafat. The second source of income is security. The PA National Security forces were responsible for keeping the security of the Casino, hotel, and resort, with PA receiving a daily 300,000 ILS for it. The last source of income for the PA is the tax on the workers of the project. Several hundreds of Palestinians(800 if we include the whole enterprise), mainly from Bethlehem, were employed by the Casino. The employees, mostly Casino dealers, were trained for several months in Jericho, to be able to work in the new work environment. The workers received about 3-4 times the minimum wage of a Palestinian worker at that time. In Summary, the Casino project was one of the main sources of income of the Palestinian authority.
Needless to say, the whole project was opposed by the conservative Palestinian community, and mobilized against, especially by Hamas. You occasionally hear in Hamas-Fatah debates a reference to the casino, as the chief representative of the PA project. There is clear evidence to suggest that the casino was a center of money laundering, corruption, and illegal campaign financing. After the closure of the casino, there was an urgent meeting in Vienna, with Mohammad Rashid, in addition to Sharon's son and attorney, to discuss how to finance Sharon's 2001 prime minister campaign. Muhammad Rashid was in the office of Sharon's son when the father was elected in a landslide. Rashid phoned Arafat immediately, rejoicing the results, and telling Arafat that he was right all the way. There is no need to remind people who was Ariel Sharon for Palestinians, but he was the solution as far as Rashid is concerned. Rashid stands as one of the most corrupt persons to hold office in the Palestinian authority.
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Book Oasis Hotel Jericho, Jericho on Tripadvisor: See 229 traveller reviews, 198 candid photos, and great deals for Oasis Hotel Jericho, ranked #1 of 6 hotels in Jericho and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. Book Oasis Hotel Jericho, Jericho on Tripadvisor: See 229 traveler reviews, 198 candid photos, and great deals for Oasis Hotel Jericho, ranked #1 of 6 hotels in Jericho and rated 4 of 5 at Tripadvisor. Oasis Hotel Casino Resort, Jericho - not operating. Due to the ongoing situation in the Middle East and the closure of the area around Jericho to Israeli citizens and tourist visitors, the Oasis Hotel Casino Resort had to close its casino operations in October 2000. Prior to its closure, the casino was one of the most successful casino operations worldwide, with over 120 gaming tables and some ... Casino in Jericho war immer wieder Spielball von europäischen Unternehmen. Im Jahr 2007 spiele das Oasis Casino in Jericho bereits eine Rolle in einem Gerichtsprozess. Bei der sogenannten Bawag-Affäre ging es um die Verlustgeschäfte der Bank des österreichischen Gewerkschaftsbundes. Die österreichische Bank für Arbeit und Wirtschaft AG ... JERICHO-JERUSALEM ROAD, PO BOX 150, JERICHO +970 2 2311200 [email protected] Such is the story of the Oasis Casino, one of the sites a Jericho tour will lead you to. Road sign on the way to Jericho: Following the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the PLO, together with Israel and the United States engaged in activities to solicit private and public investment to assist the Palestinian government to boost its economy. Constituting the largest private investment ...

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