Is­rael in rare over­ture to Pales­tini­ans ‘at Trump’s re­quest’

New Straits Times - - World -

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

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