Palestinian men gather to apply for work permits in Israel, at Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip

Thousands of Gazans apply for Israeli work permits

Israel increases total number of permits being granted to Palestinian laborers from Gaza to 7,000 from 5,000, as part of plan to improve living conditions in the poverty stricken enclave following the May conflict

AFP |
Published: 10.06.21, 16:58
Thousands of Gazans applied Wednesday for work permits for Israel, which has recently reopened its gates to laborers from the Palestinian enclave following the latest war in May.
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  • Many Palestinians want to work in Israel where the wages are higher than in Gaza, which suffers from an unemployment rate of above 50%.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian men gather to apply for work permits in Israel, at Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip
    Palestinian men gather to apply for work permits in Israel, at Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip
    Palestinian men gather to apply for work permits in Israel, at Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip
    (Photo: AFP)
    In Jabalia, a refugee camp in northern Gaza, a crowd of men holding their identity papers lined up hoping to obtain a permit that would allow them to work inside Israeli territory, AFP journalists said.
    "There is no work in the Gaza Strip," said Fathi Abu Nur, a 40-year-old father of five from Gaza.
    "Yesterday I heard that workers are registering to get permits (for Israel)," Abu Nur added. "I hope things will get better because the current situation is really difficult."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinians gather to apply for Israeli work permits, in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinians gather to apply for Israeli work permits, in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip
    Palestinians gather to apply for Israeli work permits, in Khan Younis, in southern Gaza Strip
    (Photo: Reuters)
    The total number of permits being granted by Israel to Palestinian laborers in Gaza is 7,000, an Israeli security official told AFP, up from 5,000 workers and traders allowed in August.
    Palestinian economic analyst Omar Shaaban said Israeli work permits could help alleviate "the unemployment crisis and poverty" within the territory, ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas.
    According to Shaaban, Gaza's income would increase by three million dollars per day ($3 million), if Israel granted 20,000 Palestinians work permits.
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    עוני ברצועת עזה
    עוני ברצועת עזה
    Children play in the streets of the poverty-stricken Gaza Strip
    (Photo: AFP)
    Meanwhile, the increase in permits was "the result of a political process, including discussions in Cairo between the Hamas and Egyptian officials", a Palestinian official at the chamber of commerce said on condition of anonymity.
    In May, Israel and Hamas reached a truce following 11 days of the deadliest fighting between the two long-time foes in years.
    Israel has since been easing restrictions on the Palestinian enclave, including reopening crossings, expanding the fishing zone and permitting the entry of certain goods.
    In addition, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has put forth a plan to improve living conditions in Gaza in exchange for a commitment to "long-term quiet" on part of the Hamas terrorist group which controls the Strip.
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