Israel is set to issue another 1,500 work permits for Palestinians living in Gaza, raising the total number of Gazans working in the country to 17,000.
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.
The move will begin next week, after Rosh Hashanah, COGAT says.
The Defense Ministry has signed off on a tentative plan to eventually raise the number of Gaza permits to 20,000, a policy that defense officials view as a means of maintaining quiet on the country’s southern front.
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.