The two delegations talked about easing restrictions on the entry of Palestinian businesspeople and VIPs to Israel as well as allowing more Palestinians to seek medical care in Israel. They also looked at the possibility of building joint industrial parks and boosting Israeli meat exports to the West Bank and dairy imports from the West Bank to Israel.
Khoury said he also brought up the movement of goods into and out of the Gaza Strip.
The two sides agreed to meet every four to six weeks and set up teams to handle day-to-day issues.
Since Netanyahu took office, the two sides had never met with the Palestinians refusing to sit down for talks.
Khoury said that he hoped that keeping away from politics could lead to “tangible improvements” for Palestinians.
Focusing on economic issues “does not prevent political dialogue, but rather, assists it and gives it momentum,” Shalom said.
Many factors will affect the peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians, above all Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement construction which the PNA has set as a precondition for renewed talks.
Complicating matters is a plan proposed by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who on 25 August said that his government wants to unilaterally create a de facto Palestinian state in two years time.