An Israeli source reported that the Israeli Minister of Defense ordered the army to prepare for a possible handover of security responsibilities over Bethlehem to the Palestinian Authority, next week.

“If everything goes as planned, Qalqilia will be handed to the P.A one week after Bethlehem”, Mofaz said.

Also, Israeli army began Thursday dismantling military outposts in the West Bank city of Hebron, the outpost were set up after the outbreak of the Intifada in late 2000.

The evacuation aims to minimize direct contact between the residents and Israeli soldiers in the area.