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US demands Israel make goodwill gestures to Palestinians

The demands come ahead of the US president's visit to the region.

Jerusalem24 – The US administration has demanded that Israel take goodwill steps towards the Palestinians before President Biden’s expected visit mid-July, according to reports in Israeli media.

Israeli Channel 10 reported that the military establishment formulated a package of measures for the Palestinian Authority at the request of the US administration, before President Biden’s visit.

Weeks of discussions have led to two major items being comprised in the package: an Israeli commitment to giving the Palestinian Authority advanced G4 cellular technology; and allowing a symbolic Palestinian presence at the Karama crossing.

Sources say that this will soon be presented at the political level in Israel as a step to strengthen the Palestinian Authority.

Barbara Leaf, senior adviser to Biden, made it clear during her visit to Israel last month that the US wanted these steps announced during Biden’s visit.

According to the Israeli report, these steps are awaiting final approval by Prime Minister Yair Lapid – who said in his first speech in office that he is extending his hand for peace with the Palestinians.

In return for these “goodwill gestures”, Israel has issued its own demands, such as the PA handing over the bullet that killed journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, and stopping the complaint regarding Abu Akleh’s killing which was filed at the International Criminal Court.

Israel is also considering increasing the activity of the Palestinian security forces in Area A, and allowing them to operate in Area B. The PA coordinates with Israel on matters of “security” but is currently only allowed to operate in Area A (which is under full Palestinian civil and security control) as per the Oslo Accords.

The channel added that in the coming days Lapid would issue a decision on the matter. His office said the issue was currently being worked on and that decisions had not yet been made.

The Israeli channel added that the Israeli Defense Minister’s office said: “The Defense Minister supports measures to strengthen the Palestinian Authority and weaken Hamas. At the same time, he has demands from the Palestinian Authority, and the issue will be addressed in upcoming meetings.”

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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