Olmert pushes to ease checkpoint conditions

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Tuesday toured new checkpoints along the security barrier, pushing to make movement easier for Palestinians but offering no major concessions. Olmert called on the military and civilian officials in charge of the crossings to cut down the time it takes Palestinian civilians and merchandise to enter Israel. Olmert did not say, however, when a number of checkpoints inside the West Bank would be dismantled, a key promise that followed a summit meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month.