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August 19, 2022 8:32 am

Israel Announces Plan to Boost Gaza Work Permits

avatar by i24 News

A member of the Palestinian Authority security forces waves forth a truck carrying goods at the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 7, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / File.

Israel said Friday it plans to grant more work permits to Palestinians in Gaza, reviving a pledge made ahead of a visit by US President Joe Biden but later scrapped.

A further 1,500 people from the impoverished and overcrowded Gaza Strip would be allowed to work in Israel from Sunday, the Israeli military said in a statement.

“The decision will take effect… on condition that the security situation remains quiet in the area,” said COGAT, the Israeli defense ministry body responsible for civil affairs in Palestinian territories.

The move to boost to 15,500 the total number of work permits was initially announced on July 12, on the eve of Biden’s visit to Israel and the West Bank.

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But it was scrapped four days later, in the wake of rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave and retaliatory strikes by Israeli warplanes.

The work permits provide vital income to some of Gaza’s 2.3 million people, who live under a strict Israeli-Egyptian blockade since the Islamist movement Hamas ousted forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas – who for his part refused to hand over power of the Palestinian territories after losing to Hamas in elections.

Friday’s announcement followed three days of fighting this month between Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants and Israel. At least 49 Gazans were killed and hundreds wounded, according to figures from the enclave’s health ministry.

The plan to issue additional permits followed a decision by Gaza’s ruling Hamas faction largely to stay out of the recent fighting.

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