Palestinian Authority: Israel will loosen restrictions in Area C

Finance Minister Kahlon reportedly gifts land to PA, allows potentially dangerous construction, and nixes destruction of illegal homes.

Dalit Halevi ,

PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah
PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah

PA leader Rami Hamdallah on Tuesday spoke about his meeting with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) and emphasized the fact that the meeting had been initiated by Kahlon.

Hamdallah claimed that during the meeting he had emphasized how much PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas wants both peace and a mutually agreeable two-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state beside Israel.

According to Hamdallah, Kahlon agreed to open Israel's Allenby Bridge 24/7, during the period from June 20 until October, exclusive of Fridays and Saturdays. He also claimed Kahlon agreed to prepare the bridge for uninterrupted 24/7 crossings beginning in 2018.

The Allenby Bridge connects Judea and Samaria with Jordan.

The meeting, Hamdallah said, also ended with an agreement to lengthen the hours commercial checkpoints are open, and to create a 1000-dunam (247.105 acre) industrial zone in Tarqumiya.

90% of the industrial zone would be located in Area C, near the terror hotbed of Hevron.

Kahlon also agreed to freeze the destruction of illegal homes built in Area C, near where Area C meets Areas A and B. Control of these areas would be transferred to the PA.

The total amount of land currently gifted to the PA in this deal would be over 16,000 dunams (3,954 acres). However, the PA would provide nothing in return.

Also included in the deal would be permits to construct quarries in the Bethlehem-area town of Beit Fajjar, and permits to build three Arab factories near Hevron, which would export directly to Israel's port cities without having to transfer goods through Israeli trucks.

Hamdallah also said Kahlon agreed to create a joint financial committee, which would implement the Paris accords intended to force Israel to agree to a PA state.

The financial committee would provide pension plans for PA Arabs living in Israel, reduce the amount of time required before merchandise imported by the PA is released from Israeli ports, and ban Israeli media from operating in areas controlled by the PA.