Gantz okays string of concessions for Palestinians after Abbas meeting

Planned measures apparently include hundreds of additional entry permits to Palestinian businessmen and PA VIPs, as well as approve legal status of thousands of undocumented Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza

Ynet, Associated Press|
Benny Gantz approved a string of trust-building concessions following his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the Defense Minister’s Office announced Wednesday.
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  • Gantz hosted Abbas at his personal residence in the Israeli city of Rosh Haayin on Tuesday evening in what was the first meeting of the Palestinian leader inside Israel since 2010.
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    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Avi Moalem, Reuters)
    The concessions and reliefs approved by Gantz include the addition of hundreds of entry permits for Palestinian businessmen as well as for Palestinian vehicles, additional VIP permits for dozens of PA officials, and the advancement of tax payments to the authority worth NIS 100 million.
    In addition, Gantz okayed the status approval of some 6,000 Palestinian residents of the West Bank and 3,500 Gazans in the PA’s Population Registry, which is under Israeli control - meaning Israel will officially recognized the legal status of thousands of Palestinians, which will allow them freedom of movement within the Palestinian territories.
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    מכונית פלסטינית בין חולון לראשון לציון
    מכונית פלסטינית בין חולון לראשון לציון
    A car registered to the Palestinian territories on one of Israel's main roads
    (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
    The defense minister added there are a number of additional economic measures on the agenda, including lowering the handling fees for fuel purchases for the territories, the creation of an online VAT platform for Palestinians, as well as the creation of a dedicated digital platform that will enable Israeli employers to pay Palestinian workers on the spot.
    These measures, among others, are expected to add hundreds of millions of shekels to the authority's budget every year.
    Gantz and Abbas reportedly also discussed the need to approve additional outlines that would benefit the Palestinians, including of "additional building programs" in the West Bank.
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    A Palestinian Bedouin boy holds a Palestinian flag after Israeli troops demolished tents and other structures of the Khirbet Humsu hamlet in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank
    A Palestinian Bedouin boy holds a Palestinian flag after Israeli troops demolished tents and other structures of the Khirbet Humsu hamlet in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank
    A Palestinian Bedouin boy holds a Palestinian flag in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank
    (Photo: AP)
    The meeting between Gantz and Abbas came amid growing unrest in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and a number of consequent attacks aimed against Israeli civilians, as well as against IDF troops and police officers.
    The Defense Minister's Office added that the meeting and the concessions were part of an effort to "avoid a third intifada."


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