Israel's security cabinet approves good-will package for Palestinians

Measures like allowing Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank seem to be Israel's way of saying they're ready to come to the negotiating table.

May 21, 2017 20:50
1 minute read.
Allenby Bridge

A sign marking the Allenby Bridge crossing. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Israel's security cabinet approved a series of goodwill gestures to benefit Palestinians on Sunday, just ahead of US President Donald Trump's first visit to the country.

Eight ministers supported Prime Minister Netanyahu in passing the measure, while two Bayit Yehudi ministers, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, objected.

The series of economic measures included the establishment of an industrial zone in Tarquimiya and Jalameh, easement of restrictions at the Allenby border crossing, and new allowances for Palestinian construction in Area C of the West Bank.

According to Arab media reports, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas asked in a meeting with Trump in Washington for relief for Palestinians in Area C, allowing them more freedom of movement and economic development.

Trump's special envoy to the region, Jason Greenblatt, spoke about the importance of economic initiatives as part of the rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians.

In his speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, Trump referred to the possibility of achieving peace in the Middle East, stressing that cooperation between Abrahamic religions can bring peace to the world, including between Israelis and Palestinians. It would seem that this latest measure on the part of Israel's security council is Israel's way of saying they're ready to come to the negotiating table.

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