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Israeli Finance Minister Sees West Bank Economy Key to Peace

  • Hopes more opportunity for Palestinians means less violence
  • Moshe Kahlon to present ideas to U.S. officials in Washington
Moshe Kahlon
Moshe KahlonPhotographer: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

Israel’s finance minister is seeking to drum up American and European support for a plan to boost the Palestinian economy in the West Bank -- something he thinks will benefit Israel as well.

After more than three years of meetings with Palestinian officials, Moshe Kahlon is pushing a plan to build joint industrial zones, ease movement out of the West Bank and allow the Palestinian Authority to collect its own customs taxes. He will discuss the plan with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy, later this month in Washington. The Trump team has pushed the notion that improving Palestinians’ standard of living will help create conditions for peace, and has pressed Israel for proposals.