The number of Palestinian Authority residents permitted to cross the Green Line and work in pre-1967 Israel is set to increase significantly, following an agreement between Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Palestinian Authority.
According to a report by Globes, Finance Ministry Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) has agreed to a 25% increase in the number of Palestinian Authority residents permitted to work in pre-1967 Israel. Twenty thousand new work permits will be issued under the plan, raising the total number of PA laborers in pre-1967 Israel to 100,000.
The decision was made following a meeting between Kahlon and senior PA leader Rami Hamdallah earlier this month.
Senior Israeli officials have long touted work permits for PA workers as a means of stabilizing the PA economically and discouraging terrorism.
Last year, Justice Minsitry Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) encouraged Israeli businesses to hire PA workers rather than illegal immigrants, claiming that no terror attacks have been committed by PA residents issued work permits.
“I strongly support increasing the number of work permits for Palestinians,” said Shaked adding that she was pushing Israeli restaurateurs hiring illegal immigrants to replace them with PA residents with Israeli work permits.
“I spoke with some restaurant owners who had come to me asking what they could do if all of their [illegal immigrant] workers from Eritrea and Sudan were deported. I told them ‘hire Palestinians – they’re people who want jobs and don’t carry out terror attacks.”
Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) expressed similar views this year, and praised the work permit program for bolstering the PA economy and raising the standard of living for PA residents.
Some critics of the program, however, have pointed to the September 2017 shooting attack in Har Adar, committed by a PA man who had been issued an Israeli work permit.
In December, a terrorist who had been issued an entry permit stabbed an Israeli guard in Jerusalem, seriously wounding him. While the terrorist had been given a temporary entry permit for the Seam Line area, he was not authorized to enter Jerusalem.