Israel wants to help the Palestinian Authority rebuild its economy, but not if security is imperiled, Ehud Olmert said.
Ahead of this week’s meeting in Paris of nations who donate money to the aid-dependent Palestinian Authority, the Israeli prime minister voiced willingness to help. Jerusalem has been under international pressure to ease travel restrictions on Palestinians, but has balked at a sweeping removal of military checkpoints in the West Bank.
“We truly support the strengthening of the Palestinian Authority and the international mobilization to bring about improvement in the quality of life of Palestinian residents, and in particular in the improvement of their independent economic infrastructure, so that it will not be dependent on Israel,” Olmert told his Cabinet Sunday.
But he added that the main issue is “the Palestinian Authority’s ability to tackle the issue of security as it should, to eradicate the terror organizations and to ensure there will not be terrorist attacks against Israel.”
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who is heading Israel’s talks with the Palestinian Authority following last month’s Annapolis peace conference, will attend the Paris meeting. On Sunday she met with P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris.