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Israeli Consessions: Palestinian City, Less Roadblocks, New Industrial Zones

March 31, 2008

Defense Minister Edud Barak met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and presented her with a 35-page booklet of good faith concessions that Israel will make in the near future.

Among those are the building of a new Palestinian city, or several neighborhoods, near Ramallah, financed by Jordanian businessmen, which is to be inhabited by tens of thousands of Palestinians in an attempt to ease the housing shortage in the area.

Other gestures, meant to show Israel’s seriousness and commitment to peace, without harming the security of Israel’s citizens, includes the removal of the Mevo Horon outpost, in addition to another two that were already removed (these are illegal settlements).

Additionally, Israel will transfer 25 armored vehicles to the Palestinians, ease travel restrictions for Palestinian public figures, and build new intersections for the Palestinians in the Hebron area. Israel will also help advance the establishment of industrial zones in Jericho and Hebron and increase the number of Palestinian laborers allowed to work in Israel to 5000.

Barak also announced that 700 Palestinian police officers would be allowed to enter Jenin, and that a checkpoint and 50 roadblocks will be remove, in an effort to ease the Palestinians’ movement between the West bank towns of Jenin, Tulkarem, Ramallah, and Qalqilya.

Palestinian businesspeople through the crossings will undergo easier security checks and the daily quota of people allowed to pass will increase to 1,500 from 500.

Barak also suggested upgrading the infrastructure of aiding the Palestinians waiting at the crossing at a cost of about US $2.4 million, transferring 325 cars and logistic equipment from the IDF to the Palestinian security organizations, including generators, blankets and first aid kids, and the bulding of a sewage purification device in the Beit Hanoun area.

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