Defense Minister Barak presented a package regarding the easing of various restrictions on the Palestinians, which he approved last week.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak today (Sunday), 30 March 2008, met with US Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The two first met privately; later, they were joined by their delegations. Following the meeting, Defense Minister Barak held a three-way meeting with Secretary of State Rice and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, at which the three discussed various regional, diplomatic and security issues. Defense Minister Barak also presented a package regarding the easing of various restrictions on the Palestinians, which he approved last week. The package is as follows:
Easing of Security Restrictions (fabric of life, law and order)
1. Approximately 50 dirt roadblocks will be removed thus enabling vehicular traffic between Jenin, Tulkarm, Kalkilya and Ramallah.
2. The opening of the permanent checkpoint in the Rimonim area.
3. Approval for the establishment of Palestinian police stations in B and B+ areas in order to promote law and order, after a comprehensive picture of deployments in Judea and Samaria will have been presented.
4. The deployment of 700 police personnel in the Jenin area (following their return from training in Jordan). Ultimate security responsibility will remain in Israel’s hands.
5. Mechanisms for issuing action permits for Palestinian forces for movement to B areas and for movement across brigade areas, in order to better deal with law and order, will be improved.
6. An inquiry into lifting additional roadblocks and checkpoints in Judea and Samaria will be carried out in the coming weeks, with the intention of completion by mid-May.
7. The delivery of 25 APC’s – out of 50 – was approved.
8. The delivery of 125 vehicles and pieces of logistical equipment for the Palestinian security forces has been approved.
9. Approval of non-lethal equipment for the Presidential Guard is under consideration.
10. Various restrictions on the movement of public figures have been eased.
Easing of Restrictions on Businessmen
11. Various restrictions on the movement of businessmen have been eased.
12. Maximum assistance will be rendered vis-à-vis the 21-23.5.08 business conference in Bethlehem.
13. A senior Coordinator of Activities in the Territories officer has been appointed to deal with all issues involving the conference.
Increase of Employment in Israel
14. An additional 5,000 permits will be issued for construction work in Israel (the current quota is approximately 18,500).
Easing of Restrictions at Crossings (fabric of life)
15. Opening of the Sha’ar Ephraim Crossing for commercial activity on Fridays (immediate implementation).
16. Easing of pressure at the Kalandia and Rachel crossings by diverting prisoners’ visits to the Beituniya Crossing.
17. Upgrading biometric procedures.
18. Upgrading the humanitarian infrastructure at crossings.
21 May – 23 May 2008 Bethlehem Economic Conference for Investors
A. To allow the passage of businessmen from Arab countries, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority and Israel on a VIP footing (without checks) at Ben-Gurion International Airport, the Allenby Bridge, the internal crossings (especially in the Jerusalem area), as per the lists and pre-screening.
B. Israeli businessmen will be allowed to enter Bethlehem for the conference.
C. Approval has been given for the organized movement of businessmen in Judea and Samaria cities and into Israel (including Jerusalem and Nazareth).
D. Hours at the Allenby Crossing will be extended to 24:00 on 20.5.08 and 24.5.08.
Advancing the Establishment of Industrial Zones in Jericho, Hebron and Mukibla
A. The Tarkumiya Industrial Zone in the Hebron District – the goal is to move the "Ankara idea" from the Erez Industrial Zone to Judea and Samaria. The zone will received Turkish financing.
B. An industrial zone will be established for the processing and marketing abroad of Palestinian agricultural produce. The Japanese industrial zone in Jericho will be established close to the city. Japan, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and Jordan will be involved.