Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is raising a proposal to allow more Palestinians to work for construction projects in Israel, local daily The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.
The proposal, which Barak is to introduce to the cabinet early next week, is part of the gesture package Barak presented to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Palestinian Prime Minister Saalam Fayad during their meeting in Jerusalem about two weeks ago, according to the report.
The motion requests the authorities to issue permits for another 5,000 Palestinian residents in the West Bank to stay in Israel as construction workers, in light of the increasing need of manpower in the industry.
It also includes removing checkpoints, transferring 25 armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces, returning control of Jenin to the Palestinians and carrying out a series of economic projects for the benefit of the local population.
Some 20,000 Palestinians are currently holding work-permits in Israel, including 14,000 construction workers.