Israel

Israeli Finance Minister Meets Palestinian PM to Discuss Greater Economic Cooperation

Israel’s Finance Minister met the Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister in Ramallah on Wednesday to discuss how to advance economic cooperation.

Moshe Kahlon met Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to discuss ways to implement the economic development plans in the West Bank that were approved by the Israeli security cabinet ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to the region last month.

These measures include approving planning permits for thousands of Palestinian homes in parts of Area C adjacent to Palestinian cities; easing passage between the West Bank and Israel at crossing points used by Palestinian laborers; extending the opening hours of the Allenby Crossing between the West Bank and Jordan; and expanding the Tarqumiya industrial zone, in the south Hebron Hills, into Area C.

Kahlon’s office released a statement saying that the minister was joined at the meeting by the Israeli coordinator of government activities in the territories (COGAT), Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, and that the meeting was held with the knowledge of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Also attending were the head of the Tax Authority at the Israeli Finance Ministry, Moshe Asher, and the Ministry’s budget division director, Amir Levy; the head of the civil department at COGAT, Col. Hatib Mansour; and Hussein al-Sheikh, the PA’s minister for civil affairs.

The two sides agreed to convene work teams to help strengthen cooperation on the economic front between Israel and the PA.

According to the official PA news agency Wafa, there are future plans for the PA to expand its authority in parts of the West Bank that were until now solely under Israeli control as part of a package of economic incentives.

(via BICOM)

[Photo: BICOM ]