Gaza resident: work permit?

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Hagit (photos and report) with Muhammad, Dana Y. (translating)

It's really cold today.

Today's story is not filmed. I did not get the consent of A., a  Gazan resident who is currently in Hebron. He told us about the torturous route he had to go through to get a merchant's pass:

1. Get Hamas’ approval for leaving.

2. Arrive with the approval form, submit it to the Palestinian DCO, which is on the Gaza side of the Erez checkpoint, and then wait at home for a letter/approval to leave.

3. Pass the Erez checkpoint and arrive in Israel at the Tarqumiya checkpoint (because the Erez checkpoint does not have a branch of the Israeli DCO) and receive a magnetic card at the Tarqumiya DCO.

There are about 10,000-8,000 people with merchant’s transit permits, even though most of them are workers. The merchant’s permit enables them to find work easily, as they do not need to get an Israeli employer first, who will equip them with an application for a transit permit.

Most of them work in Sderot and Netivot and sleep in Rahat. Every two weeks or once a month they return home to Gaza because they do not have enough money to finance the trips. Every time they come to Gaza, they are interrogated and tested by Hamas members, which scares them a lot.

There is no livelihood in Gaza so they are willing to go through this abusive cycle.

Oh! what a lovely occupation.