Israel to relax West Bank restrictions


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli military will relax restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank.

The decision was announced late Sunday, after a meeting between Israel Defense Forces officials and Palestinian officials, according to the IDF spokesman.

The new arrangements, which are set to take effect in the near future, are being called "goodwill measures toward the Palestinian population."

The measures include allowing Israeli tour guides to enter the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and allowing tourists to enter the city via all crossings; removing 60 roadblocks throughout the West Bank; easing restriction on senior Palestinian businessmen going through security checkpoints; and permitting Israeli-Arab civilians to travel through all security crossings located on the West Bank security fence.

During the coordination meeting, Israeli military and Palestinian officials discussed security issues, according to the IDF.

"The IDF will continue to operate strongly against terrorism while sustaining liaison and coordination with Palestinian officials in order to maintain the life routine and security of all residents of the Judea and Samaria region and the State of Israel," according to the IDF spokesman’s statement.

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