As part of Israeli measures initiated during the month of Ramadan, Israel is allowing Palestinians who don’t own land there to enter the Jordan Valley, subject to periodic situation reviews by the relevant security experts.
(Translated from report prepared by Middle Eastern Economic Affairs Bureau)
1. Project approvals in Area C – Since the beginning of 2011, 328 projects in Area C have been approved. To date, 53 approved projects haven’t yet begun due to lack of funding.
2. More permits for Palestinians working in Israel – On September 27, 2012, the number of permits for Palestinians to work in Israel was increased by 5,000. To date, there are 46,450 permits approved, of which 34,118 are being used. Since February 2011, Israel increased the number of work permits by 49% (15,250 permits). In 2012 alone, Israel has added 10,000 permits. In addition, 24,660 Palestinians are employed by Israelis in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The average salary of a Palestinian worker in Israel or employed by an Israeli in Judea and Samaria is twice the average salary paid by a Palestinian employer.
3. Permits for overnight stay in Israel – Recently, the number of permits was increased by 40% (2,000 permits).To date, there are 7,000 overnight permits in circulation, 4,213 of which are in use.
4. More entry permits for Palestinian merchants into Israel – Recently, the number of permits was increased by 1,000. To date, there are 17,750 entry permits for Palestinian merchants, 15,700 of which are in use. These permits allow for multiple entrances and departures to and from Israel for commercial purposes, and are usually valid for two months.
5. Approvals of internationally funded and monitored projects in the Gaza Strip – Since 2011, 235 projects have been approved. In September 2012 alone, 16 new projects were approved.
6. Expansion of trade between Gaza and the West Bank – Before the new school year began, three truckloads of furniture for schools in the West Bank were transferred from the Gaza Strip.
7. Support for the private sector in the Gaza Strip – The transfer of raw materials for private sector construction in the Gaza Strip, including roof tiles, building stones, dry wall, mosaics, adhesives, plaster, etc. was approved. These materials were removed from the list of banned dual-use products and are now allowed for import. Permits were also obtained for ten refrigeration trucks supporting the agricultural sector, allowing for increased export of agricultural products to the West Bank and abroad. Additionally, the weekly quota for commercial vehicles entering Gaza from Israel was increased from 80 to 100.
8. 100 million Shekels (roughly 25 million dollars) were transferred from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip in September, at the request of the Palestinian Authority.
9. Freedom of movement – As part of Israeli measures initiated during the month of Ramadan, Israel is allowing Palestinians who don’t own land there to enter the Jordan Valley, subject to periodic situation reviews by the relevant security experts. This is a significant improvement for the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and it has been in effect since the beginning of the month of Ramadan (July 20 this year on the Gregorian calendar).