Israel is set to issue another 2,000 work permits for Palestinians living in Gaza, raising the total number of Gazans working in the country to 12,000.
Israel’s military liaison to the Palestinians, widely known by its acronym COGAT, says the policy change is contingent on continued “security stability” between Israel and Gaza.
According to an Israeli security official, the Israeli Defense Ministry is working towards expanding the quota to 20,000.
The Gaza Strip has been blockaded by both Israel and Egypt for over 15 years in an attempt to contain the enclave’s Hamas rulers. Israel says the tight restrictions on goods and people are necessary for national security.
Critics lament the blockade’s impact on ordinary Gazans, around 50 percent of whom are unemployed, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. The sky-high poverty rates make employment in Israel an attractive option to those lucky enough to receive permits.