Israel Gives ‘Area C’ Residency Status to 4,000 Undocumented Palestinians

Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

Israel has granted Area C (Yehudah and Shomron) residency status to 4,000 undocumented Palestinians, the office of the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) announced on Tuesday.

This includes 2,800 Palestinians who had relocated to Yehudah and Shomron from Gaza prior to 2007, but whose presence there had never been legalized.

“All the approvals” of residency requests “are on a humanitarian basis,” COGAT said.

“Every request is thoroughly examined, and … approvals are subject to the agreement, on security grounds, of the relevant security offices in Israel.

“The Palestinians in all” 4,000 cases “have been in the Yehudah and Shomron area for many years,” COGAT added.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz had promised to legalize the status of the 4,000 Palestinians when he met with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas several months ago.