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Report: Israel reduces travel permits for Palestinians in Gaza

The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assassination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on 24 March, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]
The Erez Crossing between Gaza and Israel, closed on the Gaza-side by Hamas officials in response to the assassination of one of it's leaders, Mazen Fuqaha, in the Gaza Strip on 24 March, 2016 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

Israeli authorities have reduced the number of permits issued to allow Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip to travel through crossings under their control, Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported.

The paper said yesterday that data released by the Coordinator of the Israeli Government Activities in the Territories shows that the percentage of exit permits granted to Gaza residents has decreased from 97 per cent in 2013 to 44 per cent of applications received in 2016.

According to the paper, the number of entry permit applications filed by Palestinians in Gaza has increased from nearly 19,000 applications in 2013 to around 28,000 in 2016.

“As of August 2017, nearly 21,000 applications were submitted, but only 10,000 of them were approved,” it added.

Read: From Deir Yassin to the Great Return March, Palestinians have been massacred

The office of the Coordinator of the Israeli Government Activities in the Territories said the Israeli security services examine each request and approve them according to criteria determined by the political leadership.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who wish to travel to Jerusalem or the occupied West Bank are forced to pass through crossings controlled by Israel.

Israel has been imposing a strict siege on Gaza Strip for 11 years.

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