Israeli official, P.A. prime minister meet on Gaza reconstruction


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A senior Israeli official met with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah to discuss the rehabilitation of Gaza, among other issues.

Senior sources from Israel and the Palestinian Authority confirmed the Tuesday meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Ynet reported Wednesday.

A senior P.A. official told Ynet that the two discussed ways that Israel can help the Palestinians following Israel’s military operation this summer in Gaza.

A source identified as a senior Israeli political official said the talks were “coordination intended to change the situation on the ground” and were “something happening in addition to truce talks in Cairo.”

According to Ynet, the issues being discussed are changes in Israel’s restrictions on Gaza, including permitting men over 60 to enter Jerusalem for religious services during Muslim holy days and allowing Gaza goods to be exported to the West Bank.

Israeli officials called the meeting part of Israel’s regular coordination efforts with the Palestinian Authority ahead of the Muslim holy days.

This year, the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, occurs on the same day as Yom Kippur — on Saturday — leading to concerns about violence.

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