GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Thousands of Gazans apply today for work permits for Israel, which has been reopening its gates to laborers from the Palestinian enclave following the latest military conflict in May.
In Jabalia, a refugee camp in northern Gaza, a crowd of men holding their identity papers lined up hoping to obtain a permit to work in Israel, AFP journalists say.
“There is no work in the Gaza Strip,” says Fathi Abu Nur, a 40-year-old unemployed man.
“Yesterday I heard that workers are registering to get permits (for Israel),” he says.
“I hope things will get better because the current situation is really difficult,” the father of five says.
The total number of permits being granted by Israel to Palestinian laborers in Gaza is 7,000, an Israeli security official tells AFP, up from 5,000 workers and traders allowed in August.
In May, Israel and Hamas reached a truce following 11 days of the deadliest fighting in years.
Israel has since been easing restrictions on the Palestinian enclave, including reopening crossings, expanding the fishing zone and permitting the entry of certain goods.
Many Palestinians want to work in Israel, where wages are higher than in Gaza.