Palestinian Prime Minister, Dr. Salaam Fayyad, met on Wednesday with the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and discussed with him the efforts to implement the commitments to the Road Map Plan, and the current economic and security situation in the Palestinian territories.Dr. Fayyad confirmed that the Palestinian Authority has a firm position regarding Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories, and stated that Israel must stop these activities, and must ease the restrictions imposed on the Palestinians.
He added that Israel must stop its invasions into the Palestinian areas as these invasions and attacks are causing significant losses to the Palestinian government and are barring it from rebuilding its security devices.
Fayyad also said that Israel must adhere to the Palestinian demands of reopening all crossings in the Gaza Strip.
Both Barak and Fayyad agreed to meet again for further talks in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Israeli sources reported that Barak agreed to transfer police vehicles and ammunition in addition to security equipment to the Palestinian Police in the West Bank, and vowed to allow thousands of Palestinian workers to work in Israel.
On Tuesday, Barak said that he approved the deployment of 600 Palestinian policemen into the northern West Bank city of Jenin. The police force which will be deployed in Jenin is currently receiving training in Jordan.
Israeli opposition leader, member of Knesset, Benjamin Netanyahu, slammed this decision and said that those weapons will be used against Israel.
He claimed that weapons which Israel transferred in the past to the Palestinian president’s security forces in the Gaza Strip ended up in the hands of Hamas, and added that ‘Israel must avoid the same thing from happening in the West Bank’.