Israel will not place a closure around the borders of the Judea & Samaria during Purim for the first time in five years, Walla reported on Wednesday. The move had been customary to prevent terror attacks in past years.
Defense chiefs did not object to the move during consultations, leading Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz to approve the decision on Tuesday, according to the report. Gantz has been working closely to improve ties with the Palestinian Authority since taking office under the Bennett-Lapid government, and has been looking away at most of the illegal land grabs and illegal construction in Area C by the Palestinian Authority.
A situation analysis that preceded the decision suggested that relatively speaking, the sector was quiet and stable (despite the spike in terror attacks and alerts!), as well as the armed clashes that accompanied counter-terrorist operations in a number of cities, leading to PA Arab casualties in Nablus, the report noted.
More than 100,000 PA Arabs work in Israel daily, and the defense establishment was keen to avoid giving Palestinian Authority the impression of a move that would place them under economic pressure, it said.
It also cited Israel Defense Forces’ sources as praising the security coordination in place with Palestinian Authority security forces, which they said have improved and become effective around violent hot spots.
“The defense minister’s decision joins a series of easing of restrictions on PA Arab workers and traders from Judea and Samaria that work in Israel,” said the report.