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Monday July 5, 2010 10:06 AM (EST+7)
Palestinians: Barak-Fayyad meet to ease Palestinian daily life

Read more: Salam Fayyad, Ehud Barak, negotiations, proximity talks, security, blockade, Gaza blockade, closure

RAMALLAH July 5 (JMCC) - Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has three things on his agenda when he meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak Monday afternoon, say Palestinian officials.

The first meeting between the two officials since February will discuss further lifting the blockade on Gaza, says Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib, as well as stopping Israeli incursions into Palestinian areas and widening the mandate of the Palestinian Authority security apparatus.

The Palestinian government seeks to extend its security control into areas of the West Bank that the Oslo accords designated as Area B - under Israeli security control but Palestinian civil authority. Since the outbreak of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, Israeli security forces have operated regularly in areas the agreement designated under Palestinian security control.

Khatib denied that today's meeting, which precedes a Tuesday summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama, is related to proximity talks underway between the two sides.

This meeting is intended to make Palestinian life easier, said Khatib.

While Israel has eased its blockade on Gaza by allowing certain luxury goods into the crowded Strip, Palestinian merchants and international organizations say that unless building and raw materials are allowed to enter, life will remain constrained.

Israeli officials were expected to release a new list of banned items on Monday afternoon. This step is considered an easing of the blockade, as Palestinians were previously forced to learn what was banned by trying to coordinate the entry of goods.

Israel's cabinet announced June 20 that all goods would be allowed into the Gaza Strip, except weapons and those materials that would strengthen the rule of Hamas, which controls the area.






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