Israel grants Palestinian mobile carriers 3G frequency

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel has signed an agreement granting Palestinian mobile phone carriers 3G high-speed data services in the West Bank.

It's unclear when the measure will go into effect. Palestinians have had 2G access since 1998.

Israeli Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai and Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh signed an agreement on 3G service on Thursday.

The agreement will not extend 3G frequencies to the Gaza Strip, nor will it allow for 4G data transmission.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says it's meant to facilitate economic development.

Under interim peace agreements, Israeli authorities control cellular networks in the West Bank.

Thursday's decision comes amid a two-month surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence that has killed 14 Israelis and at least 82 Palestinians.