Israel freezing work permits for 80,000 Palestinian workers from West Bank

Israel freezing work permits for 80,000 Palestinian workers from West Bank

Palestinian workers not allowed to pass through checkpoints except after obtaining permits from Israeli army

By Anadolu staff

JERUSALEM (AA) – Israeli authorities Thursday began freezing work permits for around 80,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, an Israeli media outlet reported.

“The Israeli Civil Administration, which is a unit in the Ministry of Defense, has begun freezing nearly 80,000 work permits for Palestinian workers from the West Bank,” the Israeli public broadcaster said.

Since the start of Tel Aviv's war on Gaza on Oct. 7 last year, Israel has prevented workers from the West Bank from accessing the Israeli labor market.

The broadcasting authority claimed days ago that the Israeli army was renewing work permits for tens of thousands of Palestinian workers from the West Bank.

Prior to the war on Gaza, more than 170,000 Palestinians were working in Israel, constituting an important source of income for the Palestinian economy.

Israel does not allow Palestinian workers to pass through Israeli checkpoints except after obtaining permits from the Israeli army.

Previous estimates from the Israeli Ministry of Finance indicate that the absence of Palestinian workers in the construction, agriculture, and industrial sectors resulted in a monthly loss of 3 billion shekels (840 million dollars).

Tensions have been running high across the West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive against the Gaza Strip after an attack by the Hamas group on Oct. 7, 2023.

At least 543 Palestinians have since been killed and nearly 5,200 others injured by Israeli army fire in the occupied territory, according to the Health Ministry.

Israel stands accused of “genocide” at the International Court of Justice, which in its latest ruling has ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

* Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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