How many Israeli work permits are granted to Palestinians? No one knows

February 5, 2012: The petition was filed on January 16, 2011, after requests made under the Freedom of Information Act to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Population and Immigration Authority went unanswered for many months, in contravention of timetables stipulated in the FOIA. When the responses were finally sent, they were incomplete and contradictory. For example, according to COGAT figures, the quota for Palestinian workers stands at 32,500, while according to the Population and Immigration Authority it is 20,100 – a discrepancy of 12,000 workers between the figures provided by the two agencies. The criteria determining the quotas and the protocols regulating the processing of permit applications was also unclear.

On July 4, 2011, the State Attorney’s Office forwarded Gisha the responses of COGAT and the Civil Administration along with a number of documents. Additional documents were received on September 1, 2011. However, the state has not sent all of the requested documents, and the new documents that were received contained still more contradictions. Gisha and Kav LaOved have contacted the authorities requesting that the remaining documents be sent in order to obviate the need for a court hearing, but the state has failed to deliver even a single additional document on the matter.