An Israeli soldier searches a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near Hebron
An Israeli soldier searches a Palestinian vehicle at a checkpoint near HebronReuters File

After a gap of almost 15 years, Israel is permitting cars with Palestinian license plates to enter Jerusalem. However, the exception applies only on doctors and other medical staff members from West Bank working in Israeli hospitals, a spokesperson for coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said on Tuesday.

Israel has agreed to allow 100 Palestinian doctors from Bethlehem and Hebron in the West Bank to enter Jerusalem in their private vehicles.

After the violent uprising in 2000 - popularly known as Second Intifada - Israel had barred all Palestinian private vehicles from entering Israel out of "security reasons".

According to AFP, COGAT said only Palestinian doctors and other medical staffers whose jobs require heightened responsiveness are allowed to enter Israel with their vehicles.

The doctors and medical staff members would be issued permits by the Israel Defense Forces' Civil Administration, which deals with civilian affairs in the West Bank. After the IDF issues the permit, a security clearance will be required to finalise that they can take their vehicle to work, according to Haaretz.

"This is a significant step intended to assist doctors in completing their life-saving mission," said Brig Gen David Menachem, head of the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria. "The success of this step will be evaluated in accordance with an assessment of the security situation," he told Jerusalem Post.

The step indeed is a progress considering how even inside West Bank, the 1.7 million Palestinians are restricted to move freely around Jordan Valley and in East Jerusalem. They are not even allowed to enter restricted roads and other "closed areas".

According to the World Bank, the total restricted area inside West Bank exceeds half of the total land in the conflicted-zone.

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