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Israeli authorities grant 3,500 entry permits to Palestinians


Written by Eric Apim on Tuesday, June 28th 2022 à 15:50 | Read 231 times



More Palestinians will be able to pass through checkpoints to enter Israel (photo: COGAT)
More Palestinians will be able to pass through checkpoints to enter Israel (photo: COGAT)
ISRAEL / PALESTINE. The Israeli authorities decided, on Sunday 26 June 2022, to grant 3,500 additional permits for Palestinian workers wishing to work in Israel.

On 16 June 2022, the Cogat, the Israeli Ministry of Defence body supervising civilian activities in the Palestinian Territories, had announced the increase of this quota before suspending its implementation because of a rocket launched towards southern Israel.
These entry fees are necessary for them to pass through the checkpoints separating the Gaza Strip and the West Bank from Israel. Their increase had been suspended for arrivals from the Gaza Strip, because of the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt for more than fifteen years. By 2021, only 5,000 Palestinians had obtained this permit to work or trade in Israel.

The 3,500 permits will be issued for Palestinians coming to work in the Israeli industry and services sectors. This will bring their number to 12,000. At a time when Israel is at almost full employment, these fields are struggling to recruit. There are some 14,000 vacancies in factories. This wider opening to Palestinians will help to fill some of this shortage. It is combined with programmes to increase productivity through automation and digitalisation.

Ron Tomer, director of the Israeli Industrialists Association, calls the government's decision a "lifeline" for its members. "There are currently thousands of open jobs that manufacturers are struggling to fill, and we believe that the increase in the quota will help reduce the severe shortage, at least in the short and medium term, and will help industry to continue to function and grow in Israel."
 

Half the population unemployed in Gaza

These new permits will inject income, particularly in the Gaza enclave. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau, more than half of the population is unemployed. Locally, the average daily wage is about 60 shekels (€16.6), while employees can expect to earn up to 400 shekels (€110.5) a day in Israel, according to the newspaper Zman Yisrael.

"All the measures taken for Gaza depend on maintaining security stability over time. Whether or not to extend them will be determined accordingly," a Cogat statement insisted.

Orna Barbivai, Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, also specifies that the quota of Palestinian workers in the manufacturing sector will be automatically reduced if the average annual unemployment rate in Israel exceeds 7.5%. It is currently around 3%.

Israel employs some 100,000 Palestinian workers from the West Bank and Gaza, most of whom are employed in construction and agriculture.



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