JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel must make life easier for the Palestinians, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet.
"I think we must make great efforts to ease life for the Palestinians while keeping security constraints in mind," Netanyahu said Sunday during the weekly Cabinet meeting.
Netanyahu also said that Israel also would try to relieve "bureaucratic red tape" to help the Palestinian economy, according to reports.
The prime minister added that economic growth and the lifting of restrictions on the Palestinians was not a substitute for peace negotiations.
"If there’s willingness on the other side, we’ll make progress faster than what is expected. However, if there’s no cooperation, we’ll continue to deal with problem solving," he said.
Netanyahu’s remarks come ahead of scheduled meetings this week with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah, as well as his May 18 meeting with President Obama.