Israel suspended issuing permits to Palestinian businessmen to visit the Jewish state and the West Bank about a year ago after the militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement. After the ban, Palestinians were only allowed to leave Gaza in emergency cases.
Under a June 19 ceasefire agreement between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, Israel agreed to reopen its border crossings with the Gaza Strip to allow the supplies of essential goods into the Palestinian territory and has also issued permits to 198 major businessmen in the enclave.
"Permits have recently been issued to businessmen working in various sectors. We demand that the Israeli authorities include a larger number of people in the list and extend the permit terms to two years," the union of Gaza industrialists and entrepreneurs said.
Under the ceasefire agreement, Israel is increasing the volume and the range of supplies to the Palestinian enclave, which were previously limited to essential items. In addition to cement and cattle, it is now allowing fabric and threads to be supplied to Gaza.