Israel approves measures for Palestinians after leaders meet

Jerusalem (AP) —The Israeli Minister of Defense approved a series of steps aimed at improving relations with Palestinians on Wednesday after a rare meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Israel.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Abbas late Tuesday night at his private residence on the outskirts of Tel Aviv. This is the first time Abbas has met Israeli officials in Israel since 2010. The two discussed security coordination between Israel and the Palestinian Authority of Abbas, which controls the occupied West Bank pockets.

Ganz’s office is “building trust,” including transferring tax payments to the Palestinian Authority, approving hundreds of permits for Palestinian merchants and VIPs, and approving the status of residence of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. “Measures” were approved.

Israel is collecting hundreds of millions of dollars worth of taxes on behalf of PA as part of a provisional peace agreement signed in the 1990s.

Tax transfers are an important source of funding for underfunded Palestinians, but Israel has paid PA benefits to thousands of families whose relatives have been killed, injured or imprisoned in conflict. I am withholding funds. Israel says payments promote terrorism, and Palestinians say they provide decisive support for poor families.

Israel has approved the residence of about 9,500 Palestinians.Israel manages the Palestinian population registration for many years That policy has lost an estimated tens of thousands of Palestinians to legal status., Strictly restrict freedom of movement, even within the occupied territories. Israel granted legal status to approximately 4,000 Palestinians in October.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett opposes the Palestinian state. His government was not interested in reviving peace talks that collapsed more than a decade ago, but said he wanted to ease tensions by improving living conditions on the West Bank. In recent months, there has been a surge in Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinians on the West Bank and Palestinian attacks on East Jerusalem and Israeli people on the West Bank.

In another incident on Wednesday, Israeli forces said civilians were injured in a shooting from the Gaza Strip. This is the first example of cross-border violence along the borders of a Palestinian enclave. The military said it responded with tank fires at multiple Hamas militant positions in the Gaza Strip.

The meeting between Ganz and Abbas was the second in six months since Benjamin’s coalition government was inaugurated, and was criticized by Israeli opposition lawmakers, including the Likud party, the largest former Prime Minister of Parliament, Benjamin Netanyahu. ..

Palestinians are seeking an independent state that includes all of Israel’s occupied territories during the 1967 Middle East War, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip.

Hamas seized Gaza from the Abbas army in 2007, a year after Islamic extremist groups won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. Since then, Gaza has been under the blockade of Israel and Egypt.