Israeli administration has announced that it will increase the number of work permits for Palestinians in its territory by 20,000 – bringing it to a total of 100,000 permits for Palestinians in Israel.

As per the new agreement between Israel’s Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Israel has agreed upon increasing the number of work permits for Palestinians in its territory by 20,000. This move will bolster the work permit cap for Palestinians in Israel to a total of 100,000 – which was decided during the formal meeting between ministers of both country. Beyond the economic aspect, the meeting redefines Kahlon’s role: in addition to being the symbol of moderation in the cabinet, he is also responsible for managing contacts with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in all areas, including the political arena.

During the meeting, both parties also agreed to promote the development of three joint industrial zones. Two of these, in Tarkumia and west of Ramallah in the area of Modi’in Illit, are well known. The third and most interesting will be established in the Jordan Valley rift in cooperation with both the PA and Jordan. This industrial zone is also planned as a free trade zone. Israeli officials agreed to help the Palestinians prepare for an audit by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a precursor to receiving aid. The IMF is demanding far-reaching economic reforms and full transparency from the PA as a condition for receiving aid.

Beyond the economic aspect, the meeting redefines Kahlon’s role: in addition to being the symbol of moderation in the cabinet, he is also responsible for managing contacts with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in all areas, including the political arena. Kahlon’s office said that he had called on the Palestinians to resume diplomatic negotiations with Israel under the auspices of U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt, terming the U.S. the only “fair mediator” in the region.

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