The FINANCIAL — TEL AVIV. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are considering the possible lifting of a 10-year-long ban on visiting the West bank of the Jordan River for Israeli Jews, an Israeli paper said on July 19, according to RIA Novosti.
"Head of the Israeli Central Command Avi Mizrahi is now considering permits to enter Zone A (several territories located near the West bank of the Jordan River which are under total Palestinian control) for Israelis," Haaretz reported, referring to a source from the Israeli defense.
"If the Army recommends this move, there is a great possibility that [Israeli] Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi will confirm it," the paper added.
The source called the stabilization of the military and political situation, as well as the high level of cooperation between the Israeli and Palestinian enforcement agencies, the main reasons for the possible thaw.
"It is the first time both parties are acting on equal terms – not as a leader and a follower," the paper said.
Israel prohibited its citizens from visiting cities located in Palestinian territories in late September 2000, after the beginning of a wave of intense Palestinian-Israeli violence, known as the Second Intifada.