Under interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deals that established the PA, Israel committed to approve the residency in the West Bank and Gaza of some 4,000 new spouses of local residents each year under a family reunification programme.
The Palestinian side shall inform Israel of every change in its population registry, including, inter alia, any change in the place of residence of any resident.
ll. To reflect the spirit of the peace process, the Palestinian side has the right, with the prior approval of Israel, to grant permanent residency in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to:
a. investors, for the purpose of encouraging investment;
b. spouses and children of Palestinian residents, and
c. other persons, for humanitarian reasons, in order to promote and upgrade family reunification.
In October 1998, in the framework of the Wye Agreement, between Israel and the PA, Israel raised the quota to 3,000 a year, not counting the requests submitted by members the first High Court population. [sic?] In early 2000, in the framework of peace negotiations between the parties, Israel again raised the quota, to 4,000 a year. This policy remained in effect until the outbreak of the second intifada, in September of that year.
Under interim peace deals in the 1990s that established the PA, the Palestinian side was given the right, with prior approval by Israel, to grant permanent residency in the West Bank and Gaza to spouses and children of Palestinian residents. The accords did not specify any family reunification figures.
Rights groups that examine Israeli activities in the occupied territories said a quota system was put into effect, with the number of reunification requests to be considered annually by Israel rising to 4,000 in the year 2000.
(This Oct. 19 story deletes reference in paragraph 8 to interim peace deals setting residency quota)