An Israeli team met Wednesday with World Bank representatives, in the framework of contacts with the international community on advancing Israeli prime minister Arial Sharon's Gaza Strip disengagement plan.
According to the Tel Aviv-based Globes newspaper, this was the first meeting between World Bank representatives and the Israeli team.
It was agreed to form four joint working groups to advance the economic aspects of the plan, the report added. The groups are to deal with issues such as trade and crossings, the transfer of Israeli assets in Gaza Strip, the establishment and operation of industrial zones, and the improvement of transportation infrastructure in the West Bank. The four joint working groups are expected to begin work within two weeks.
Additionally, it was decided that a joint working plan would be presented to a conference of donor countries that will gather in New York in September.
Israel told the World Bank that the entry of Palestinian workers from the Strip into Israel will stop completely by 2008 and that, at the same time, Palestinian industry should be developed, with increased Palestinian commercial exports - instead of exported labor - forming the basis of the Palestinian economy. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )