The Palestinian Authority on Monday agreed to permit the import of calves by Arab meat traders whose animals are currently stuck in Israel, Reshet Bet radio reported Tuesday.
The agreement was reached at a meeting that included the director of the Israeli agriculture ministry, Shlomo Ben Eliyahu, the head of the civilian department in the Office of the Coordinator of Government Operations in the Territories Colonel Sharon Biton, the PA deputy minister of agriculture, and a representative of senior PA official Hussein A. Sheikh.
The agreements were reached, in part, as a result of an exchange of messages between Maj. Kamil Abu-Rukun, the coordinator of government activities in the territories, and senior PA officials.
The PA Agriculture Ministry will establish an “exceptions committee” to ratify existing permits to import calves from Israel, as well as entertain new applications for calf imports. The import of calves should be resumed next week.
Initially, PM Mohammad Shtayyeh, who was behind the bizarre, unilateral move to boycott the calves imports, warned that he would resign if he were forced to fold under Israeli pressure. But according to the Reshet Bet report, Shtayyeh never had the support of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on this issue.
The Israeli and PA agriculture officials also agreed on Monday to hold discussions in the coming weeks regarding the export of PA agricultural produce to Israel and abroad, as well as imports of agricultural produce from Arab countries to the PA.