Israeli defense minister, Ehud Barak, has informed the Palestinian side that Israel approved the construction of a Palestinian residential city, media sources reported.

The planned residential buildings will be erected in the West Bank city of Ramalllah, with large investments by a Jordanian businessman, Israeli sources said.

According to the source, the announcement was made during a trilateral meeting between U.S Secretary of States, Condolleezza Rice, Palestinian Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak.

The sources pointed out that the Israeli defense minister, presented to Rice a list of planned Israeli eases of restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank and that Rice has been surprised.

Secretary Rice said today during a meeting with her Israeli counterpart Tsibi Livni, that Washington will monitor Israel’s implementation of such eases. She was responding to an Israeli plan to remove about 50 checkpoints and roadblocks across the West Bank.

Since the breakout of the Palestinian Intifada (uprising) in 2000, Israel has placed the West Bank under a wide range of restrictions, including the separation barrier and hundreds of checkpoints that hampered civil life.

In 2003, Washington backed a road map peace plan that demands Israel to stop settlement activities and remove checkpoints, and obliges the Palestinians to dismantle Palestinian resistance groups.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority has embarked on a security plan, aimed at wrestling control over the Palestinian cities in the West Bank, observed clearly in Nablus city.