RAMALLAH, July 19 (JMCC) - The Israeli military is considering lifting a ban on Israeli citizens entering parts of the West Bank
under controlled by the Palestinian Authority
, according to Haaretz
The potential move comes on the backdrop of an unprecedentedly high level of security cooperation between the military and the Palestinian Authority.
The restriction, which has been in place for ten years, was primarily a result of the second intifada
, but has worked to increase the separation between the Israeli and Palestinian populations.
A month ago, the IDF allowed Israeli tourists and tour guides to take a bus into Bethlehem, the first time the army approved such a trip in a decade, and GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi is now considering allowing Israelis to enter all of Area A.Read
If such a recommendation is made by the army, it is highly likely that Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi will approve the decision.
Mizrahi visited Jericho on Thursday, the first such visit by an officer of his rank since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000. Mirzahi and officers under his command, including officers in the Civil Administration, were guests of the heads of the Palestinian security services.
The Israeli guests were given a demonstration of Palestinian security capabilities and observed an exercise in which security officials protected a motorcade of VIPs against an attempted drive-by shooting.
Mizrahi invited his Palestinian hosts to observe a similar exercise at Central Command...
more at Haaretz