Agreement marks progress on bringing 3G to West Bank

14 Aug 2015

Israel has put forward a proposal to the Palestinian Authority which could herald the long-awaited arrival of 3G mobile services in the West Bank. According to Reuters, citing a spokesperson for Israel’s Ministry of Communications (MoC), meetings held between the two sides yesterday led to an agreement – pending on the Palestinians meeting Israeli conditions. Details of the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Allam Mousa, the Palestinian telecommunications minister, called the plans a ‘breakthrough’, saying: ‘In the last meeting, some proposals were made in accordance with our demands and some amendments were made that could be studied and that could enable us to achieve our demands … So far there is no final agreement – it is only another round – but this round has achieved a bigger achievement than previous rounds.’

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in January 2015 Palestine’s Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology (MTIT) called on the international community to pressure the Israeli authorities to enable the use of 3G and 4G services by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza regions. With the regulator said to have voiced astonishment over a previous order which it claimed had been passed by the Israeli government – allowing for the provision of 3G services to illegal settlements in the aforementioned areas – the MTIT argued that such a situation contradicted Article 36 of the Oslo Agreement of 1993, violating relevant international conventions and depriving the indigenous people of their own resources.