The giant US online cash company does not allow anyone with a Palestinian address or bank account to register. Israelis, including settlers in the occupied territories, can easily join.
Ala Alaedine, the CEO of the technology company InterTech in Ramallah, told Arab News the absence of PayPal makes life harder for any startup. “There are other alternatives, but they are not used globally as much as PayPal. In addition, the lack of e-banking solutions in Palestine makes PayPal more dependable.”
Zahi Khouri, CEO of Palestine’s National Beverage Co. said: “All we want is equal access for our talented young people to bring their innovative products and ideas to the world.”
Under siege in Gaza and facing difficult political and economic situations, some Palestinians have tried to use their talents to create small one-person shops that are largely dependent on the digital economy. Without an easy and efficient pay system, however, they face a major hurdle.
Palestinian-American Sam Bahour, CEO of consulting firm Applied Information Management, took up the case with people in Silicon Valley. He talked to peace activists in the US and encouraged them to do something to change this situation, which he said is hurting young Palestinian entrepreneurs. “The message (PayPal is) indirectly sending is that they could not care less if these young people spend their time behind a keyboard or in the streets,” he explained.
Read full report in Arab News