Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians publishes new travel guidelines for US citizens from the Gaza Strip who will henceforth be able to enter Israel for short-term stays, to visit the West Bank or to travel abroad.
The move by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is the latest in a series that Israel has taken in order to qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). A key condition for entry into the VWP is a commitment by the countries that apply to participate to grant equal travel rights to all US citizens. This has been a sticking point for the Biden administration, in light of longstanding allegations of discrimination of Arab and Muslim Americans at Israeli ports.
In August, a senior Israeli official announced that Gazan Americans would indeed be able to enter Israel on a B2 tourist visa, while clarifying that authorities needed another month to prepare.
Israel kept its word, rolling out the eased travel restrictions for Gazan Americans today.