Israel has agreed to expand the powers of the Palestinian Authority in Area C of the West Bank, which is under full Israeli military and civil control, government spokesman Yousef al-Mahmoud said on Thursday.

(Image: United Nations oPt official map, Wikipedia)

He said, according to WAFA, that Prime Minister Rami Al-Hamdallah met on Wednesday evening with Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, at his Ramallah office, and discussed political and daily life issues.

Hamdallah told Kahlon in the meeting, which took place in the presence of Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh, that the position of the Palestinian leadership is that a political solution comes first and foremost to anything else because it constitutes the essence of any political process and that there is nothing called “economic solution”, as claimed by some Israelis.

During the meeting, it was agreed to keep Al-Karama/King Hussein/Allenby border crossing with Jordan open for Palestinian travelers around the clock except on Fridays and Saturdays starting from June 20 until October. The crossing will then be open around the clock throughout the year starting in 2018.

It was also agreed to activate the Joint Economic Committee as well as revise the Paris Economic Protocols signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in 1994.

It was also agreed to expand the powers of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank territory controlled by Israel and classified as Area C, particularly in relation to construction and planning and the cessation of demolitions of Palestinian buildings and installations under the pretext of not being licensed, said al-Mahmoud.

It was also agreed to build an industrial zone in Tarqumiya in the Hebron governorate, which includes a customs clearance area and fuel and gas reservoirs.

The meeting also discussed other issues and Israel’s obligations under the signed agreements, said the government spokesman.

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