Israel to give work permits to 16,000 more Palestinians in bid to strengthen PA


Staff member
Israel to give work permits to 16,000 more Palestinians in bid to strengthen PA
Around 122,000 Palestinians currently work legally in Israel and the settlements, and their incomes are important to a PA economy that has taken tough hits during the pandemic
By Aaron Boxerman
28 July 2021

The Israeli government is set to increase the number of work permits for West Bank Palestinians by 16,000 amid calls by Israeli officials to strengthen the ailing Palestinian Authority economy. According to the Defense Ministry, the Israeli military body charged with handling Palestinian civilian affairs — known by its acronym COGAT — informed senior Palestinian officials on Wednesday of the intention to offer additional permits.

The plan was first announced by Regional Affairs Minister Issawi Frej, who said he had developed the initiative along with Housing Minister Ze’ev Elkin. But while the proposal was originally set to be approved by the government this past Sunday, it was subsequently delayed due to “technical issues” with the Defense Ministry, Frej’s office said. Around 87,000 Palestinians work legally in Israel, according to official figures, and another 35,000 work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The vast majority work in agriculture and construction. Most of the new permits — some 15,000 — will be issued specifically for construction workers, according to the proposal. Another 1,000 will be granted for Palestinians who work at hotels across Israel.