Israel to limit West Bank raids
Israel has decided to limit military operations in the West Bank cities of Qalqilya, Ramallah, Jericho and Bethlehem as part of an effort to boost the Palestinian Authority, Israeli security sources said Thursday. The agreement, a move aimed at giving Palestinians the ability to enforce law and reign, was reached following a meeting between Israeli officials from the Civil Administration and high-level Palestinian security officials in Bethlehem Wednesday evening.
According to the agreement, Palestinian forces will be permitted to operate in the four cities 24 hours a day, up from the 5 hours they were permitted to operate until now.
Israel has also decided to begin informing the Palestinian Authority of any security-related developments that may draw an Israeli military presence in the four cities. “The IDF will act as little as possible to allow the Palestinians to take more initiative and responsibilities over their own security,” an Israeli security source said, according to Reuters.
“As long as they take a step forward in responsibility, we will take a step back in controlling the area.”
Israel’s latest move comes as Israel faces mounting pressure from Washington to ease Palestinian hardships.
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