Arab man on cellphone
Arab man on cellphone Miriam Alster / Flash 90

Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement Thursday aimed at providing the PA-controlled territories in Judea-Samaria with 3G mobile access, so far out of reach to Palestinian mobile firms, Israeli officials said.

Details of the agreement involving the long-awaited service were not immediately clear, but it comes after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged steps to ease tensions in Judea and Samaria, gripped by weeks of violence.

Talks on 3G mobile have dragged on for years, with Israel having so far blocked Palestinian mobile companies' access to the necessary frequencies.

The Israeli defense ministry unit that manages civilian affairs in these territories announced the "memorandum of understanding" and said it had been signed with Palestinian civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh.

"The decision was made after examination by the security establishment and the completion of professional staff work with the Israeli ministry of communications," it said.

The lack of 3G access and its data capacity has been seen as a significant brake on the Palestinian economy.

Netanyahu, in his meeting with US President Barack Obama on November 9, was said to have spoken of measures aimed at easing tensions after a wave of Palestinian gun, knife and car-ramming attacks that began in October.

Some 14 Israelis have been killed in the latest terror wave, and over 160 more wounded. 

AFP contributed to this report. 

Did you find a mistake in the article or inappropriate advertisement? Report to us