JERUSALEM – Israel said Friday that it intends to grant more work permits to Palestinians in blockaded Gaza, reviving a pledge made ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit but later abandoned.
A further 1,500 people from the impoverished and overcrowded Gaza Strip will be allowed to work in Israel beginning Sunday, according to a military statement.
“The decision will take effect… if the security situation in the area remains calm,” said COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body in charge of civil affairs in the Palestinian territories.
The decision to increase the total number of work permits to 15,500 was first announced on July 12, on the eve of Biden’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
However, it was canceled four days later due to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and retaliatory strikes by Israeli warplanes.
The work permits provide vital income to some of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents, who have been subjected to an Israeli blockade since the Islamist movement Hamas seized power in 2007.
The announcement on Friday comes after three days of fighting between Islamic Jihad militants and Israel earlier this month.
According to the enclave’s health ministry, at least 49 Gazans were killed and hundreds were injured.
The plan to issue more permits follows Hamas’ decision to stay mostly out of the recent fighting.
Source: Arab News