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Ahead of Biden’s Visit, Gantz Approves ‘Confidence Building Measures’ With the Palestinians

(JNS) Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved a series of “confidence building” measures between Israel and the Palestinian authority, ahead of the arrival in Israel on Wednesday, July 13 of U.S. President Joe Biden.

The measures were approved following a meeting last week between Gantz and P.A. chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and additional steps are under consideration according to Channel 12 News.

Among the steps approved by Gantz are the approval of six outlines for Palestinian construction in Judea and Samaria, and allowing an additional 1,500 workers into Israel from the Gaza Strip

A new crossing between Israel and the Palestinian territories will also be opened in northern Judea and Samaria to allow Israeli Arabs access to Jenin, according to the report.

Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman sharply criticized the measures, saying that they come at the expense of Zionism and Jewish life in Judea and Samaria. “Gantz is approving … construction plans for Arabs in Gush Etzion, during a year in which we barely saw any permits issued for Jewish construction. This is a disparaging farewell gift to Gush Etzion from the Bennett-Lapid government,” he said.

Despite the confidence building measures and the series of top-level meetings between Israel and the P.A. in recent days, the Palestinians are not expecting a political announcement to be made during Biden’s visit, according to Channel 12.

During Biden’s two-day visit to Israel, he is scheduled to meet with Abbas for only 45 minutes, and is expected to deal mainly with financial aid, according to the report.

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