Blair: Israel not getting enough credit

Quartet envoy expresses appreciation for moves to ease Palestinians' lives in meeting with PM, Shalom.

Netanyahu and Blair 248.88 (photo credit: GPO)
Netanyahu and Blair 248.88
(photo credit: GPO)
Quartet Middle East envoy Tony Blair said Monday that Israel was not getting enough credit for its many recent measures to improve conditions for the Palestinian population in the West Bank, such as the removal of roadblocks and checkpoints. Blair was speaking during a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Vice Premier Silvan Shalom. The quartet envoy voiced his appreciation for the efforts and expressed hope that they would continue, according to the Prime Minister's Office. Netanyahu and Shalom expressed their appreciation for Blair's efforts and great determination to provide assistance in the region. The two briefed Blair and his delegation on the efforts Israel was making to boost the economic development of the West Bank and lift restrictions from the Palestinian residents. Netanyahu cited the decision to increase the operating hours of the Allenby Border Terminal in order to ease the flow of Palestinian goods. He also mentioned the various economic projects being promoted by the government, such as the planning and development of a light industrial zone near Bethlehem, a major industrial zone in the Jenin area and an agricultural processing and export zone in Jericho. Both sides raised additional ideas for improving the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, while Netanyahu and Shalom said more improvements were possible if there was greater cooperation from the Palestinian side, said the PMO.