Israel announces series of gestures to Palestinians, a day before Biden’s visit

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP/Collage)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. (AP/Collage)

The military’s liaison to the Palestinians says Israel will implement a series of measures intended to ease Palestinians’ daily life.

The moves come following a meeting between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah last week, and a day before US President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.

Israel will legalize the status of 5,500 undocumented Palestinians and foreigners living in the West Bank and Gaza, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) says.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians and foreign nationals are believed to live in the West Bank and Gaza without proper documentation.

Additionally, Israel will approve six Palestinian housing projects in the West Bank, increase the number of work permits for Gazan Palestinians by 1,500 to reach a total of 15,500, and open the Salem crossing in the northern West Bank for Arab Israelis to enter the Palestinian city of Jenin, according to COGAT.

Further measures are currently being examined by COGAT and will be announced separately if approved by officials.

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