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Sense of belonging draws Palestinians to West Bank

Growing numbers of Palestinians living in Israel prefer shopping and conducting other business in the West Bank because of a sense of belonging and to bolster the economy.
A Palestinian woman buys candies from a vendor at a market ahead of Eid al-Adha in the West Bank city of Nablus September 30, 2014. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini (WEST BANK  - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY) - RTR48DQO

NABLUS, West Bank — On a Saturday in Nablus, people are lining in front of the al-Aqsa sweet shop. The place is packed. Staff member Mohammad al-Nabulsi says the shop receives more customers on the weekends than on weekdays because of Palestinians visiting Nablus from Israel. On weekends, the shop operates at a faster tempo to fill the large number of requests for kunafa, a Levantine cheese pastry.

In the last four years, some 90,000 Palestinians from Israel have been crossing into the West Bank annually, after a long hiatus that began with the 2000 intifada, when the security situation prohibited such travel or made it too difficult.

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