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Israel grants 15,000 work permits to Palestinians

Palestinian in the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem on May 07, 2021, in Ramallah, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]
Palestinian in the Qalandiya checkpoint from Ramallah into Jerusalem on May 07, 2021, in Ramallah, West Bank [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli government on Sunday granted 15,000 work permits for Palestinians from the West Bank to work in the construction sector, reports Anadolu Agency.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the granting of 15,000 work permits was done in cooperation with the housing, finance, defense, and regional cooperation ministries.

"This is an important step that will strengthen the Palestinian and Israeli economies and our shared interests," Gantz tweeted.

On Wednesday, Israel's military liaison officer to the Palestinians, known as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said it will approve 15,000 work permits for Palestinians in the construction field and another 1,000 work permits in the hotel industry.

The Israeli announcement was preceded by a phone talk between Gantz and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last week.

As of the first quarter of 2021, the number of Palestinian workers in Israel reached 138,000, according to official estimates. Labor institutions, however, say the number exceeds 180,000.

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