Tens of thousands in Gaza line up for Israeli work permits

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Tens of thousands of Palestinians have lined up outside chambers of commerce across the Gaza Strip, hoping to get permits to work inside Israel. The rush came after rumors circulated that more would be issued to residents of the coastal territory, which is ruled by the militant Hamas group. Gaza’s more than 2 million Palestinian residents have lived under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized power in 2007. Israel says the closures are needed to contain the militant group, while critics view it as a form of collective punishment. An Israeli security official says authorities are accepting applications for 2,500 permits after issuing 4,500 in recent weeks.

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