700,000 Israelis Waiting for New Passports

By Yisrael Price

(Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – There are 700,000 Israelis waiting for a new passport, and on Wednesday the government said it’s doing something about it.

“We are on the threshold of seeing an easing of the situation in the field in the coming days,” Israel Population and Immigration Authority Director Tomer Moskowitz said on Wednesday, according to Globes. “The big measures we have undertaken and their realization and impact on the public are a matter of days,” he said.

Moskowitz outlined the measures aimed at reducing the massive backlog:

A new office has been opened in Bnei Brak where Israelis can receive a temporary passport for NIS 400, which must be paid online. It’s cheaper than obtaining them at Ben Gurion airport, where it costs NIS 820. By the end of May, 5,000 are expected to have used the Bnei Brak office.

Secondly, the addition of evening and night shifts at the plant that makes the passports. The Authority has already hired 20 new employees and plans to hire an additional 60 staff in June.

Israelis who hold dual citizenship can travel abroad on their foreign passports until January 1, 2023.

The authority was sharply criticized by MKs at a meeting of the Knesset Interior Affairs Committee last week for not anticipating the current surge in passport applications after the drop in travel during the Covid pandemic.

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