Israel plans to increase the number of entry permits it grants to Palestinian workers by around 30,000, Palestinian and Israeli sources said on Monday this week, in a drive to ease economic hardship amongst Palestinians.
A Defence Ministry official confirmed a report in the Haaretz newspaper on Monday which said Israel would increase the number of work permits given to Palestinians by 30,000.
Around 55,000 Palestinians currently have permits to work in Israel, mostly in construction and agriculture, according to figures from the Bank of Israel. An additional 30,000 undocumented Palestinian labourers also enter Israel each day. It is also estimated that around 27,000 work in industrial zones in Israeli West Bank settlements. The new plan would raise the number of Palestinian workers vetted by Israeli security officials.
Police say most of the near-daily Palestinian attacks since October, which have included stabbings, shootings and car rammings, have been carried out by Palestinians who cross into Israel without permits from the West Bank.
Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot have both recently argued that facilitating Palestinian employment is likely to help reduce violence.
The past six months have seen over 282 terror attacks and attempted attacks carried out against Israelis, resulting in the deaths of 30 Israelis and over 344 injuries .
Since 13th September 2015, there have been 174 stabbing attacks, 70 shootings, and 38 car ramming attacks taking place across Israel and the West Bank.
In the West Bank, around 30% of Palestinians between the ages of 20 and 29 are unemployed, according to data from the Palestinian Statistics Bureau for the third quarter of 2015.