U.S. officials traveling with the country's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday that Israel had pledged to remove 50 West Bank roadblocks as part of a package to improve everyday life for the Palestinians, local daily Jerusalem Post reported.
Israel and the Palestinians had also agreed that Palestinian National Authority (PNA) security forces in the West Bank must assume "greater responsibility," the officials added.
The new steps were announced during a trilateral meeting between Rice, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Jerusalem, the local daily said.
Also on the list of steps Barak presented to Rice were the granting of work permits, the transfer of police cars and 25 armored vehicles to PNA security forces, the easing of movement restrictions on senior Palestinian officials, the handover of Jenin to PNA forces and a series of economic projects to improve Palestinians' welfare, according to the report.
"We all want to work hard for the improvements that can lead to a successful conclusion of the Annapolis process," Rice was quoted as saying at a press conference with Barak and Fayyad following their meeting.
Earlier Sunday, Rice said in a press conference with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in Jerusalem that the Israelis and the Palestinians have a joint responsibility to create an atmosphere and a reality in which the Palestinians are committed to Israel's security and Israel is committed to the Palestinians' quality of life.
Rice, who started Saturday a three-day shuttle visit to the Middle East in a bid to discuss practical ways to improve the lives of the Palestinians, added that she expected both Israel and the Palestinians to carry out meaningful things both in the economic and security fields.
Rice said earlier this month that neither Israel nor the Palestinians had done "nearly enough" to carry out the 2003 "Road Map" peace plan under which Israel is required to halt West Bank settlement activity and uproot settler outposts and the Palestinians to rein in militants.