Israel in rare overture to Palestinians ‘at Trump’s request’
JERUSALEM: Israeli ministers have approved measures aimed at improving the Palestinian economy and facilitating crossings, rare moves said to be at Donald Trump’s request hours ahead of the United States president’s arrival.
An Israeli official said ministers were responding to a Trump request to present him with “confidence-building measures” ahead of his talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas today.
In what the official described as a “gesture for Trump’s visit, which does not harm Israel’s interests”, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet on Sunday approved the enlargement of a Palestinian industrial zone on the edge of the southern West Bank.
He said the possibility of extending Israel Railways services to the northern West Bank city of Jenin would also be examined.
They also gave the nod to streamlining transit procedures at Shaar Ephraim, a busy crossing point in the northern part of the occupied West Bank for Palestinian labourers with permits to work in Israel.
There would also be reforms to Palestinian land use in urban areas in the 60 per cent of the West Bank under full Israeli control. AFP