Report: Israel Legalizes Status of Hundreds of Undocumented Palestinians

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel has agreed to legalize the status of 442 undocumented Palestinians in Yehuda and Shomron, the first such mass authorization in years, according to the Palestinian Authority on Monday.

However, none of the officials in Israel in charge of Palestinian affairs at the Defense Ministry would comment on the report, said The Times of Israel.

The PA Civil Affairs Commission, the liaison with Israel, stated that residence permits were issued to the group, which consist of Palestinians whose families had failed to register them before they turned 16, which made their efforts to gain legality more difficult.

In August, Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, which produced a series of confidence-building measures, including the legalization of thousands of undocumented Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority cannot issue valid identity cards without coordinating with Israel.

Palestinians and their spouses who remain in Yehuda and Shomron without a valid ID card risk deportation at every Israeli roadblock.

Tens of thousands of undocumented Palestinians are believed to be living in the region, the most common case being family unification. According to High Court rulings, Israel is not obligated to approve those requests, although it sometimes has authorized Palestinian spouses as a humanitarian gesture or through agreements with the PA.