In Brief: Israel approves Palestinian housing and 4G coverage plans

Construction in Jenin > Guillaume Paumier, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Israel will advance a long-delayed plan to approve the construction of some 1,000 new Palestinian homes and make a number of other confidence-building measures towards the Palestinian Authority.

The moves come ahead of President Biden’s visit to the region this week, according to reports.

The move to authorise the housing units had been planned for a number of months, but was frozen amid the deadly terror wave earlier this year, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported.

There will also reportedly be progress on long-stalled plans to set up Palestinian 4G cellular networks.

Israeli officials tentatively greenlit 4G service for Palestinian mobile companies in November, but subsequent months have seen little progress on the matter since then, reportedly due to pushback from figures within the security establishment.

While Israel upgraded to 4G in 2013, Palestinian companies in the West Bank still rely on 3G networks, which were introduced in 2018.

In Gaza, which is governed by the Hamas terror group, phone users rely on a 2G network.

It has also been reported that Israel will promote a meeting of the Joint Economic Committee, established under the Oslo Accords but which has not met since 2009.