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Israel okays Palestinian residency claims, a first since 2009

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(Photo: Jordan News)
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel granted approval on Tuesday for 4,000 Palestinians to register as residents of the West Bank, the first such move in the Israeli-occupied territory in 12 years. اضافة اعلان

The newly regularized residents had already been living in the West Bank, including 1,200 people considered “undocumented” because they had not been registered with the Palestinian Population Registry and another 2,800 who had previously been identified as residents of the blockaded Gaza Strip

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said he had approved the new registrations on “humanitarian” grounds. 

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and exercises full administrative control across much of the territory. 

The new approvals will make thousands of people newly eligible to get Palestinian Authority identification documents and change their residential address. 

The branch of the Israeli occupation forces responsible for civil affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories, COGAT, told AFP that Israel had not approved a new batch of Palestinian registrations in the West Bank since 2009. 

Some 475,000 Israeli Jews live in settlements in the West Bank considered illegal under international law on land Palestinians claim as part of their future state.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the former head of a settler lobby group, opposes Palestinian statehood and has ruled out formal peace talks with the Palestinian Authority during his tenure, saying he prefers to focus on economic improvements. 

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