JERUSALEM, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Israel said on Thursday that it will grant more permits to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in a move to ease some restrictions on the impoverished coastal enclave.
Further 1,500 people from overcrowded Gaza would be allowed to cross into Israel for work and commerce purposes, the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Israel's military liaison to the Palestinians, said in a statement.
"The decision will take effect next week on condition that the security situation remains quiet in the area," the statement read.
The decision was made by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz following an evaluation of the security situation, according to the statement.
The addition would bring the total number of Gazans allowed to work in Israel to 17,000, according to official figures.
Israeli Defense Ministry said in a separate statement that it plans to raise the quota of permits to up to 20,000 "provided that stable security is preserved."
The Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, when Hamas violently took over the Palestinian enclave from the Palestinian Authority.