A move to ease tensions

Currently there are 58,000 Palestinians who possess Israeli work permits, although experts estimate that as many as 120,000 are actually employed by Israelis. But now the Israeli government intends to grant 30,000 more permits, under a plan that was approved by the security cabinet yesterday.

Only two of the Palestinians responsible for attacks carried out over the last four months have held permits to work in Israel. So the intention behind the plan is reported to be one of easing the tensions behind the current round of violence by avoiding a form of collective punishment for residents of the West Bank.

Palestinians at checkpoint

Photo by Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

According to a report by Al Jazeera, unemployment in the West Bank stood at around 15 percent early in 2015. So this could be a welcome move – especially due to higher earnings potential. However, it seems that the Israeli government may need to do something about the crossing points too, as workers complain of having to get up very early and wait for hours at checkpoints before being able to get to work.