Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reached an agreement on a temporary arrangement and on a permanent ‘safe passage’ between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Israel Radio reported on Tuesday.
Under the agreement, Israeli security forces will escort convoys of Palestinian vehicles traveling between the two areas until a railroad linking Erez with Tarqumiyeh checkpoint near Hebron is constructed.
The PA has so far refused to engage in talks on the implementation of the disengagement until the issue of the ‘safe passage’, which was promised them under the Oslo Accord but never implemented, is resolved.
According to the World Bank estimation, the railroad would cost $175 million and take three years to build.
Earlier in the week, the World Bank proposed a four-lane sunken highway be built in a five-meter-deep trench as an alternative that would only cost $130 million.