Prime Minister Ehud Olmert toured several West Bank crossing points on Tuesday to see firsthand that the promises he made last month to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas about easing movement had been implemented.
"It is important to me that those people who want to earn a living don't need to get up at 1 a.m. in order to work from six in the morning till six at night and will not have to wait long hours at the crossing points," Olmert said at the Sha'ar Ephraim crossing point south of Tulkarm. "There is a large population whose quality of life is dependent on us, and we need to demonstrate openness and tolerance toward them."
Olmert discussed the freedom of movement issue with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at their meeting on Monday.
Olmert was told by IDF officials that since he met with Abbas, 44 roadblocks - out of a total of 144 - were lifted in the West Bank, and that more Palestinian laborers and merchandise were being allowed into Israel.