5,000 permits for Palestinians approved

Plan will allow construction workers employment in Israel, part of easements that Barak promised Rice.

construction tekoa 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
construction tekoa 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
The cabinet on Sunday approved 5,000 Israeli work permits for Palestinian construction workers as a result of Defense Minister Ehud Barak's initiative. The permits are being issued due to a genuine demand for labor in the Israeli construction sector and will be given in accordance with security regulations. To date, there are 20,000 Palestinians authorized to work in Israel - 14,000 of them are employed in the construction sector. During the course of Barak and Rice's meeting two weeks ago, the defense minister assured Rice that he would take serious steps towards the implementation of the proposed easements, including the removal of some West Bank checkpoints, the delivery of 25 armored vehicles to Palestinian security forces, the easing of movement restrictions on senior PA officials, the transfer of some of Jenin's security responsibilities to the PA, authorizing the building of new neighborhoods near Ramallah and a series of economic development projects.