Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he is committed to improving the economic status of Palestinian Authority residents. He added that all bureaucratic obstacles to this end should be removed if they were not linked to security issues.
Netanyahu was speaking ahead of a planned trip to Washington, where he is scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama. Obama has said he expects Israel to make political gestures that would restart the peace process.
"I don't believe there has ever been a government in Israel that would risk the safety of its citizens in order to ease the Palestinians' financial situation," he said during a government meeting.
"According to our impression, which is not just an impression, there is a lot of bureaucracy in our relationship with the Palestinians, as amongst ourselves, and we have to work to decrease it."
The prime minister has announced that he will head a committee of ministers that would work to remove bureaucratic obstacles standing in the way of the improvement of the Palestinians' financial situation.
Netanyahu concluded by saying that the purpose of the committee would be to improve the Palestinians' freedom of movement, using methods beginning with but not limited to the removal of some checkpoints.