Israeli team travels to Ramallah, makes concessions to Palestinians

Border crossing to be open 24/7, new industrial zones for Hebron and Jenin, and more building permits for Palestinians is the new package approved by Israel in a confidence-building gesture.

Israel agreed to give the Palestinian Authority more control over Area C of Judea and Samaria as part of several new measures designed to boost the Palestinian economy. The moves were a result of a rare sit-down between Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah Wednesday night in Ramallah.

Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai joined Kahlon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman were aware of the meeting, Kahlon’s office said in a statement.

Area C, according to the Oslo Accords, is under Israeli control. Area A is ruled by the Palestinians only, while Area B is ruled jointly in a collaborative effort.

Israel also agreed to keep the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing with Jordan open 24 hours a day, as well as increase building permits for Palestinians in Area C. In addition, Kahlon promised to develop industrial zones in Jenin and Hebron.

Kahlon’s visit to Ramallah came on the heels of an Israeli cabinet decision prior to Trump’s visit to offer gestures to Palestinians as part of confidence-building measures. United States President Donald Trump has made mediating an Israeli-Palestinian peace a major part of his agenda, and had reportedly pressured Israel to take such steps.

By: Tzvi Lev, World Israel News

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