As the President has expressed many times, he is personally committed to doing everything he can to achieve a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. He has been encouraging both sides to take steps that improve the environment for peace making. He has expressed particular interest in taking steps to improve the Palestinian economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Today, the President welcomes an Israeli decision to implement a series of measures designed to begin improving both the Palestinian economy and the quality of life for the Palestinian public. These steps include expanding the hours of operation at the Allenby Bridge in advance of Eid al-Fitr and maintaining those hours through the end of September so that the period of summer vacations when families visit one another and the Hajj can be accommodated. In addition to the expanded hours, Israel will improve service at the crossing by streamlining the processing of passengers, deploying an online and mobile application to display wait times and widening the road between Jordan and Israel to fully support two-way traffic. These upgrades are scheduled to be fully implemented by the summer of 2018.
Israeli has also agreed to:
- Zoning land in Area C adjacent to several Palestinian cities, for Palestinian residential, Industrial and agricultural use;
- Launching a pilot program for pre-screened Palestinian factories to make door-to-door delivery of commercial merchandise, to be expanded after one year, if successful;
- Developing industrial zones near Tarkumiya and Hebron;
- Expanding hours at crossing points between Israel and the West Bank while reducing wait times;
- Connecting Jericho to a sewage treatment plant;
- Increasing electricity and water access for the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park.
These economic steps are intended to improve and expand economic opportunities for Palestinians. The Trump Administration will continue working closely with Palestinian and Israeli business leaders to identify additional ways to grow the Palestinian economy.