He said Israel would dismantle 59 West Bank roadblocks in two phases – 24 at first and the rest later.
“We have prepared a plan that we intend to implement immediately, which deals with the crossings and the movements of Palestinians and increasing the number of Palestinians working in Israel,” Peretz said.
“The smaller the humanitarian Palestinian distress is, the smaller the terror potential is,” Peretz said. “Improving the Palestinians’ standard of living is part of Israel’s security concept.”
|“The smaller the humanitarian Palestinian distress is, the smaller the terror potential is”
Amir Peretz, Israeli defence minister
Israel has previously refused to free Palestinian prisoners until one of its soldiers captured in a cross-border raid on June 25 is released.
A senior Israeli official has said that the prison service and the Shin Beth security service were drawing up a list of Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and minors, who could be released immediately.
West Bank arrests
Overnight, Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinians, including
|Nine Palestinians were detained during an
Israeli operation in the West Bank
Israel Radio said that the arrested men were members of Islamic Jihad and Abbas’s Fatah movement.
Both groups have often fired rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, but the Popular Resistance Committees has been largely inactive in the West Bank.
Palestinian fighters in Gaza have fired more than 50 rockets since they declared a ceasefire in early December.