For first time in decade, Israel allows PA to register Palestinians in West Bank

Gantz approves the move as part of his effort to promote economic development of the West Bank; of the 4,000 Palestinians set to be registered with PA's population authority, 2,800 are residents of the Gaza Strip

Elior Levy|
For the first time in a decade, Israel on Tuesday allowed the Palestinian Authority to register some 4,000 Palestinians living in the West Bank without a status, as residents.
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  • At least 1,200 of them have never been issued a Palestinian identity card for various reasons, including those who had entered the PA, got married there and stayed without registering in an orderly manner.
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    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    בני גנץ אבו מאזן
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
    (Photo: Avi Moalem, Reuters)
    Others are Palestinian residents who had gone abroad before the signing of the Oslo Accords and their identity cards were revoked once they came back.
    In addition, Israel approved the registry of 2,800 Gazans living in the West Bank, who had fled the Strip before the takeover of Hamas and who have never gone abroad or returned to the coastal enclave.
    Those Palestinians are currently registered as residents of the Gaza Strip even though they have not lived there for many years. The measure will allow them to change the registration of their address to the West Bank.
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    People without a status living in the West Bank
    People without a status living in the West Bank
    People without a status living in the West Bank
    (Photo: AFP)
    The final decision on the matter was made by Defense Minister Benny Gantz as part of his policy to promote civilian and economic development in the West Bank.
    Earlier on Tuesday, Coordinator of Government Operations in the Occupied Territories Maj. Gen. Rassan Aliyan informed Palestinian representatives that the Palestinian Population Registry's request has been officially approved.
    In recent years, the PA has pressured Israel into allowing stateless persons to be included in its population registry. The last time Israel approved similar changes was a decade ago, when a comparable move was approved by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
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