Israeli Occupation issues 16,000 work permits for Palestinians


Published: 2021-07-28 12:34

Last Updated: 2021-09-16 20:44

Source: Al-Monitor
Source: Al-Monitor

The Coordination of Israeli Government Activities in the Palestinian Territories (COGAT) confirmed on Wednesday the Jewish state's intention to increase the number of work permits it gives to Palestinians to work in the fields of construction and hotels by 16,000.

"The State of Israel intends to increase the share and number of Palestinian workers in [the occupied West Bank] by 15,000 workers in the construction sector," COGAT, which is affiliated with the Israeli Ministry of Defense, indicated in a statement.

According to the statement, "the quota of Palestinian workers in the hotel sector in Israel will be increased by 1,000 additional workers, in coordination with the Ministry of Tourism."

The Israeli Occupation decision follows a conversation held by Defense Minister Benny Gantz with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the statement confirmed.

An Israeli Occupation security official, who preferred not to be named, told AFP that with this increase, the number of Palestinians obtaining work permits in the Israeli Occupation will rise to 106,000, in addition to another 30,000 Palestinian workers working in West Bank settlements.

The Israeli Occupation government is expected to ratify the decision next week.

"We want to implement it as quickly as possible, it is in the interests of both parties," the security official added.

The statement noted "additional steps to strengthen economic relations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority."

COGAT coordinator Ghassan Alyan said that "this step will strengthen the Israeli economy and the economy of the Palestinian Authority, and will contribute a lot to security stability in [the occupied West Bank]."

A large number of Palestinians in the West Bank seek to obtain work permits inside the Israeli Occupation because of the high wages, although they are not equal in them or in other advantages with Israelis, they say.

The work permits did not include residents of the Gaza Strip, where two million people have lived under a tight Israeli Occupation siege for nearly 14 years, according to the security official.

Before the spread of the coronavirus, the Israeli Occupation had allowed 7,000 workers from the Gaza Strip to inside the Israeli Occupation, but those permits were frozen due to the outbreak of the pandemic.