Olmert backs global aid to Palestinians, but not at price to security

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday endorsed the international effort to bolster the Palestinian economy, but said he would not agree to steps that compromise Israel's security. "We'll do everything to help the development and strengthening of the Palestinian Authority infrastructure, but not at the price of giving up any vital security interests," Olmert told members of his Kadima Party. He spoke as international donor nations were gathered in Paris pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinians. The donors have said Israel must ease checkpoints and other travel restrictions in the West Bank for the aid to be effective. Israel says such measures are instrumental in combatting Palestinian gunmen.