Israel removes ten West Bank checkpoints
( dpa ) - The Israeli army Thursday removed ten West Bank checkpoints in a further move the military said was aimed at showing goodwill and easing conditions for Palestinians.
Earlier in the week Defence Minister Ehud Barak, in a trilateral meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Acting Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, presented a package of measures to ease security and travel restrictions.
Israel had already removed a key military checkpoint east of Ramallah Monday, which for the past years of the Palestinian uprising had cut off Jericho, the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea from the rest of the West Bank.
Rimonim was one of 99 permanent checkpoints in the West Bank. But Barak also promised to remove another 49 - out of a total of 450 according to the B'Tselem human rights group - physical dirt or cement roadblocks.
He also approved the establishment of Palestinian police stations in West Bank areas that enjoy only partial Palestinian autonomy, but are under Israeli security control, as well as the deployment of 700 Palestinian policemen in the northern West Bank city of Jenin after they complete training in Jordan later this spring.